Samyukta Mullangi, MD, MBA, oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and incoming medical director at Thyme Care, spoke on how her organization’s tech platform incorporates social determinants of health (SDOH) in care navigation to ensure high quality care and treatment.
Thyme Care’s tech platform prospectively identifies patients who have health-related social needs and leverages electronic patient-reported outcomes to periodically check in on patients to ensure the delivery of high quality care and treatment, said Samyukta Mullangi, MD, MBA, oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and incoming medical director at Thyme Care.
How do Thyme Care’s care navigation strategies account for race, income, and other social determinants of health when personalizing care to each respective patient?
So, Thyme Care’s whole-person approach to care navigation takes into account the important role that social determinants of health have in a patient's life that can impact their access to high quality care, their ability to pay for care, etc. Factors like their geographic location, social and financial circumstances, race, ethnicity, all can have a tremendous impact on a patient's ability to receive high quality care and treatment.
One example that comes to mind was a study that I read that actually came out of my training institution, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, led by my colleague and friend Bobby Daly, that showed that a well designed remote monitoring program led to a near 50% reduction in the risk for inpatient admission or emergency department visit. But the catch is that you have to have a smartphone, and not everyone has access to a smartphone or high speed internet. And that's just like one example of many about how social determinants of health can have an impact on patient care.
So, I would say Thyme Care does a few things that are enabled by its unique tech platform. So, one, through systematic processes that undergird enrollment and onboarding, Thyme Care’s navigators are able to prospectively identify patients who have a health-related social need, rather than react to needs that can arise over the course of treatment, which as everyone in this audience knows, can manifest in a drop in medication adherence, missed clinic visits, reduced time on treatment, increased acute care utilization, and increased mortality.
Thyme Care also leverages electronic patient-reported outcomes to periodically check in on patients, and those can be customized and are customized to a patient's journey and where they are on it. So, it's not the same assessment for say folks who are on adjuvant therapy vs who are on therapy with palliative intent or who are on survivorship.
It also leverages both regional and national resources. For example, resources on community-based organizations, grant assistance programs, or copay assistance programs, all of which are pulled in directly onto this tech platform so that care navigators don't even have to leave it to find resources that they might want to connect patients to. Resources about transportation, food insecurity, everything that are currently available.
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