Patient engagement has been shown to produce better outcomes and decrease risks through improved healthcare. With greater patient engagement, the patient becomes a partner in their wellness. They take active participation in activities that will improve health. This might include lifestyle choices that diminish risks and increase health, as well as more proactive adherence to prescribed treatment.
The benefits of patient engagement extend beyond current diagnoses, such as chronic illness. As a protocol, this helps educates patients for long-term health so that they’re more confident in their healthcare and develop trust with their providers.
Healthcare organizations that develop patient engagement solutions can help their patients increase health in several areas scientifically shown to reduce the risk of illness. For instance, organizations where the population health shows a high risk of diabetes might work with patients to improve diet, increase physical activity, and take proactive steps to monitor patients for an earlier diagnosis.
In this post, we’ll discuss what patient engagement is and why it’s important for the healthcare organization as well as the patient. We’ll give an overall view of patient engagement services and discuss strategies to increase patient engagement. We’ll also lay out ways that you can use your current technology to implement patient engagement strategies and improve the strategies you currently employ.
What Is Patient Engagement?
Evidence supports the fact that people with a higher activation experience a better health outcome. Your patients who are more informed and knowledgeable about their own health, as well as overall health issues that may impact them, will be confident in their treatment plans. This confidence also means that they’re more likely to advocate for themselves and recognize symptoms that need treatment. It’s difficult for patients to understand the importance of lifestyle changes and treatment plans when they don’t have the proper education in relation to risks and benefits.
Patients benefit from engagement practices because they are more likely to take an active role in their treatment plans. Patient engagement, at its core, is your ability to work in partnership with your patients on their overall health. It’s clear from ongoing studies by the CDC that patient engagement strategies make a profound difference in care.
The studies are clear on the importance of real engagement. They show a decrease in mortality rates among patients with chronic diseases and an increase in wellness overall. For engagement to truly be effective, there needs to be a partnership between the healthcare provider and the patient.
For organizations, it’s not enough to provide written documentation or newsletters for patients. It’s also not enough to provide material that’s difficult for those without advanced medical knowledge to fully understand. Developing a process to make sure that the patient gets information in a way that is most beneficial for them is the best strategy. The question is, how does a large practice do this efficiently?
What Are Patient Engagement Services?
Patient engagement services are different types of services that your organization can employ to increase patient engagement. Most obviously, your technology is a key to patient engagement. With health population data, your organization can monitor the most prevalent healthcare issues in your patient demographic to provide communications more efficiently to these patients. Your technology solution can also give you insights into the demographic so that you can develop a better understanding of their knowledge base and the types of content or learning tools that will benefit them most.
Technology is one of the driving factors that can help you personalize medicine for your patients. With access to the individual patient’s overall health records, you can easily see issues that might need to be addressed proactively. You’ll also be able to remember specific preferences and issues while seeing where the patient fits into the overall risk factors in the population you serve.
Your technology can also include ways for the patient to connect with their provider that are convenient for them. For instance, patient portals give the patient access to written materials, can include video links for patients who prefer that learning method, and offer options to contact the provider directly to ask questions. You can include a frequently asked questions section for issues that most commonly impact your demographic or send out targeted reminders on wellness needs to certain members of your patient list.
The Benefits of Patient Engagement - Why Is It Important?
Patient engagement is the foundation for good care and wellness. Physicians and healthcare organizations cannot force patients to comply with medical treatments. They can’t magically impart the knowledge to control and monitor their own health concerns. The only way to make sure that patients are active participants in their own well-being is by actively encouraging and cultivating patient engagement.
It’s a fundamental right for patients to understand their unique health situation to make informed choices about their care. This is just as true in preventing possible future disease and illness as it is in the case of terminal patients.
Patients who are engaged make more informed daily choices about their health. They are fully aware of the dietary choices they make and when they’re more informed, they’re more likely to make better choices. Engagement also helps patients to build more trust in their physicians and more self-confidence. These patients are more likely to recognize symptoms for early detection of ongoing conditions and they’re more likely to voice concerns with their physician.
The additional knowledge also alleviates the fear that many patients face. This may make them less likely to avoid seeking medical attention when they do have symptoms or issues.
How Can Technology Improve Patient Engagement?
Patient engagement software solutions can be one of the biggest helps to your practice in working with patients in a proactive way. Using a patient portal, you can customize the experience for your users. This means that you’ll be able to design the portal that intuitively meets the patient’s needs so that they build confidence interacting with your practice.
Your EHR solution can help you get an overview of population health, to develop educational opportunities that meet the unique needs of your patient base. For instance, knowing that a percentage of your patient base speaks another language as a primary language will help you develop content that connects with that patient base in a more understandable way. Knowing that your patient base has a lower reading level, can help you develop educational opportunities that are more useful for the way that they learn. Knowing that your demographic prefers autonomy and likes to research independently, can help you develop the type of content they will find most informative.
User experience is about putting yourself in the shoes of the patient and delivering the partnership they need for better health. Your technology solutions can help you achieve this to a higher degree with great efficiency.
- Patient engagement has been shown to produce better outcomes and decrease risks through improved healthcare.
- Patients benefit from engagement practices because they are more likely to take an active role in their treatment plans.
- Patient engagement software solutions can be one of the biggest helps to your practice in working with patients in a proactive way.