Almost 30 Hospital Trusts and over fifty CNSs are ready to enrol patients on to the Health Companion.
If you’re part of this trailblazing group – a huge thank you! Many of you have started enrolling, but some, as yet, have not.
The Health Companion is designed to collect real-world data by enabling patients to submit information regarding their quality of life, general health, symptoms and experience of care.
Please promote the app to your patients, tell them you are recommending it, give them the patient leaflet to take away, and encourage them to sign up when they feel most receptive. We are not expecting ALL patients to want to use the Health Companion - but we want as many patients as possible to know it’s available, what's involved (10 minutes a month), and the potential benefits:
- a diary as a focus for better consultations
- a better understanding of how treatments and medications are impacting their quality of life
- a patient perspective or voice that will lead to better care and better medicines for all, and
- a record of their own additional costs related to care and dealing with the disease
We’re delighted that the app has been endorsed and is being promoted by advocacy groups; Mesothelioma UK, EGFR+, HASAG, ALK+, SWASAG, Oncogene-Driven Lung Cancer Patient Alliance UK (ODLC), in their patient groups, so you may like to think about how you could support patients in your teams? We appreciate that hospitals have many different touch points with patients, and all at different frequencies, so are all trying different approaches – here’s one example of how to help drive patient sign-up!
Case Study: Success at Medway
Medway NHS Foundation Trust is an early adopter of the Health Companion. Here’s what they have learnt!
When the Health Companion was first introduced at Medway, CNSs targeted patients who attended monthly support groups, this proved successful. However, it soon became apparent that the same patients attend each month, which meant a drop in the number of new enrolments.
As such, Medway started to incorporate and discuss the information regarding the Health Companion within the health needs assessment for each new patient. This is a slower process to enrol patients as it is something currently done virtually over the telephone. Once the Health Companion is discussed, patients think about it and let their CNS know their thoughts, if they want to proceed, they arrange to complete the consent forms. Medway Hospital CNS team work together, so some patients who enrol, may have agreed to the Health Companion with one CNS, but sign the consent when seen by another. This new way of onboarding patients has proved really successful as it offers the continuity and support they need to sign-up.
“Interest and enrolment have been slower than expected – but once people are interested it is really easy to sign them up. We’re hoping the more people we can reach, the quicker patient numbers will increase.”
Cat Bodkin, Macmillan Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Clinical Nurse Specialist at Medway NHS Foundation Trust