Healthcare providers face many diverse challenges when providing care for their patients. New healthcare technologies continue to provide unique ways to address some, but not all of these challenges.  One of the best ways to address them is also one of the most overlooked (and simplistic); involving the patient and their family or loved ones in the care process.  

By involving the patient and their family or loved ones in the care process, healthcare providers are able to see greater rates of treatment success with their patients.  Family members can provide unique information about the patient to clinicians, help interpret information for the patient, and provide emotional support.  Family caregivers can communicate critical medical information to physicians and clinical care teams, keep non-local family members informed and help the patients follow their care instructions and adhere to medications.  However, it is not always easy to get this entire team on board. 

Incorporating these people into the care of the patient can help foster patient-centered care, which has shown to be most effective in caring for patients. According to Anthem, “the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care defines four core concepts to guide the development of patient-centered interactions: Dignity and respect, information sharing, participation, and collaboration”.  The use of electronic health apps, such as Spectra, provide a platform from where healthcare providers can incorporate a patient’s loved ones and caregivers into the care plan.  

Spectra provides a launching point from which family members, loved ones, and caregivers can stay up to date on the care a patient is receiving.  Spectra also allows these stakeholders to provide their input into the care process and address their concerns.  Since providers have direct access to this app, they are also in a better place to communicate with the involved parties in order to ensure that the patient is getting the most out of his or her care.