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Stop. Scan. Send: QR Code Reader for Real Time Care Feedback Wins REACH Challenge

Today, AcademyHealth is pleased to announce that an experimental application to track patients’ care experiences in real time is the winner of the Relevant Evidence to Advance Care and Health (REACH) Developer Challenge. Real-time Care Experience Feedback Using QR Codes was submitted by an international team of researchers including Deirdre McCaughey, Dominique LaRochelle, Aamer Ghaffer, Tejal Raichura, Shantanu Dholakia, Latoya Tatum, and Ashley Kimmel. The top three finishers were:

AcademyHealth launched the REACH Challenge—part of the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge—to foster collaboration between the research and developer communities, and to produce innovative applications that provide access to evidence-based information to support more meaningful engagement and real-time decision-making. “The powerful combination of technology, social media, and data enable whole new ways of conceiving and conducting research,” said AcademyHealth President and CEO Dr. Lisa Simpson. “We launched the REACH Challenge to highlight the interdisciplinary nature of health services research, to encourage interactions between researchers and nontraditional partners, and to get people thinking about the many ways this kind of work might improve health and health care.” The winning entry exemplified the aims of the Challenge.  A press release from Penn State University, where winning team member Deirdre McCaughey is on faculty, sums up their application:
"As a former health care provider, I have seen patients in waiting rooms who were confused about why it was taking so long to be seen by a doctor, and I have seen the family members of patients who were worried about their loved ones and unable to get information about them," said McCaughey. "Our application of QR-code technology will enable hospitals to say to patients and their family members, 'We care about you; we are listening to you; and we are willing to talk to you about your concerns right now.'" McCaughey said that the team envisions that hospital waiting rooms will have placards on their walls designed to look like stoplights that read, "How are we treating you today?" People can walk up to the placard, use the QR-code applications on their phones to scan the appropriate area (green for good, red for bad, and yellow for in between), and be directed to one of three Web pages on which they can note their concerns and comments. Ideally, she said, hospitals would have a patient-experience response team on call 24/7 to attend to these concerns immediately. ... "It is becoming increasingly common for people who are having a negative experience to tweet about it as they are waiting or receiving care or to blog about the experience afterward," she said. "So now, not only are these patients disappointed with the care they are receiving, but others who did not have the experience can read these tweets and blogs and be influenced by them."
The winning QR codes app, as well as the two runners up, will be presented at the Annual Research Meeting's Innovation Station in Orlando, Fla., this June. We'd like to thank all our entrants and judges for making the REACH Challenge a success.  
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