As Integrative doctors, we work within the realm of lifestyle. We know that the most successful patients with the best health outcomes are the ones who fully engage with their healthcare and are ready to establish personal awareness with the four key tenets of Integrative health: activity, diet, sleep and stress.
Even when patients are ready to make changes, they many struggle a great deal along the way and become frustrated—some enough to quit before ever making progress. This makes sense, because it’s incredibly difficult to understand one’s own body and health habits without objective data.
Just like patients need scales to measure weight and lab panels to determine endocrine function, they also need to know day-to-day numbers, such as steps taken, hours of deep sleep and micronutrients eaten. Of course, these critical numbers are nearly impossible to track without a technological tool.
At this point in time, the best way for patients to get acquainted with important lifestyle data is with wearable activity trackers and their companion apps.
These handy tools log and store critical lifestyle data without a great deal of effort on the patient’s part. According to a survey of our Integrative community, 77% of doctors already recommend activity trackers as part of the treatment plan. This is fantastic news, yet asking patients to bring printouts of their lifestyle data to appointments can be, well, challenging.
Now that Fitbit integrates with P2P, you have a way to track your patients’ actual, long-term data instead of relying subjective information from patient memory alone. While this technology pairing is perfect for Integrative methods, you may be wondering how to get the ball rolling in your own practice.
Getting Your Patients On-Board With Wearable Trackers is Easier Thank You Think!
1. Speak about wearables data like it’s an important part of the treatment plan–because it is!
Keep the conversation about lifestyle tracking at the forefront of your patient’s minds. Speak about Fitbit (or other wearables that your patients use) like they are an important part of the treatment plan and continually mention how you will work with the data over time.
2. Create marketing materials or a web page explaining the benefits of using wearable devices.
Examples include increasing awareness and accountability, reaching goals, boosting motivation, losing more weight faster, etc. If you’re already using Power2Practice, upload this handy PDF to your patient library or print and distribute during appointments.
3. Engage your patients with an EMR that supports lifestyle changes, such as Power2Practice.
As the first EMR designed for Integrative medicine, P2P specifically supports patient engagement and activation with a robust patient portal that includes a variety of educational tools and resources in addition to HIPAA-secure messaging and convenient online intake forms and questionnaires.
4. Give a wearable device to each new patient, as part of the treatment plan.
Since 70% of Integrative practices are cash pay, integrating a wearable device into the treatment plan should be easy. We at Power2Practice prefer Fitbit devices because the brand is well known by clients along with being affordable and durable. We suggest that you send patients home with a Fitbit device as part of the introductory visit, along with your comprehensive treatment plan. To become a Fitbit wholesale partner, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patients who seek Integrative medicine generally fall into two categories: those who traditional medicine has failed and those who simply prefer the Integrative approach.
Regardless of which end of this spectrum our patients are on, bringing wearable devices—and more importantly, the data they provide—into treatment plans can dramatically improve outcomes by revolutionizing the way in which our patients understand their own bodies.
To learn more about the future of wearables in Integrative care, listen to/watch this webinar, “Wearable Health Trackers – Fad or Revolution?”
Power2Practice is the first EMR, business development platform and advanced patient portal designed to validate and accelerate Integrative, Anti-Aging and Functional Medicine.
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