Background: Despite widespread adoption of health information technology, U.S. providers face persistent barriers to coordination of care. We sought to develop and implement a patient-centered smartphone app that facilitates care coordination when patients receive care at any hospital in a region. Materials and Methods: Partnering with patients and primary care teams at a federally qualified health center (FQHC), we developed an app that (1) used real-time location data to identify encounters at 41 regional hospitals; (2) sent notifications to users' phones, asking them to confirm hospital arrival/discharge, and; (3) sent automated messages to primary care teams about confirmed hospital encounters. App design included multiple, successive rounds of active patient participation. In a small beta test of the initial version of the app, high-risk, low-income FQHC patients ran the app on their phone for 3 months. A formative mixed methods evaluation examined the app's technical performance and user experience. Results: Twelve patients enrolled in the beta test and provided follow-up data; 11 (92%) were racial/ethnic minorities. Participants obtained emergency or inpatient care at four regional hospitals. The app had 75% sensitivity to detect events when notifications should have fired, and 90% positive predictive value (PPV) of events when notifications fired. Barriers to implementation related to the app's user interface and the performance of its location tracking algorithm. Conclusions: We partnered with patients from a traditionally underserved population to develop a new smartphone-based approach to regional care coordination. The app had moderate sensitivity and high PPV for identifying regional hospital visits.
- sensor technology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management