Patient Engagement and Better Outcomes
Patient Engagement and Better Outcomes
The focus in healthcare is shifting towards preventive methods. With the development of various healthcare technologies, physicians can track and remotely assess patients’ conditions. Clinicians are consequently much more involved in their patients’ health. However, studies demonstrate that increased engagement on the patient’s side leads to better clinical results. In other words, it is essential to increase patient engagement to benefit your practice and the patients themselves.
What is Patient Engagement?
John didn’t eat healthily. He smoked, drank, and didn’t exercise enough. When he visited his clinician, he was told he needed to take proactive measures to improve his health before it’s too late. The measures in place consisted of John changing his dietary habits, avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, and exercising several times a week. The result? John became an activated patient.
Patient engagement refers to all the practices a patient takes to have a more active role in healthcare delivery. It consists of taking proactive measures, such as paying attention to one’s dietary preferences and working out and utilizing tools at the patient’s disposal to communicate regularly with their clinician.
Patient engagement in healthcare is made much simpler due to many tools available to patients and care providers. One of those are the mandated electronic health records. Although they vary in complexity and application, one of the most basic tools integrated into EHRs. Portals improve communication between patients and clinicians, make patients active participants in their healthcare delivery, and improve patient engagement.
Why is Patient Engagement Important?
In the simplest of terms: it is important because it drives better clinical outcomes. Studies show that activated and, consequently, engaged patients drive better results. We define patient activation as their knowledge, skills, and ability to participate in their well-being actively. We can say that they are engaged if they act on their ability.
Based on the level of engagement, we can differentiate between different levels of engagement. Patient activation measure is a scale that determines the level of patient involvement. It is based on 13 items that showcase the patient’s beliefs, knowledge, and willingness to participate in their own health. Based on their scores, patients are assigned an activation level. Less than half of all U.S. patients are, according to PAM, considered activated patients.
Benefits of Patient Engagement
We have already touched upon the apparent benefits of engagement for patients. However, activated patients benefit your healthcare organization as well. A more engaged patient is, effectively, a healthier patient. As such, they require fewer visits, are more likely to take preventive measures to improve their health, and leave you more time to dedicate to other, less involved patients. Below is the non-exhaustive list of benefits for your organization:
- Patient engagement allows you to take on more patients.
- Studies show that engaged patients yield lower medical bills.
- Improved organizational workflow as fewer patients or patient visits equals more time to devote to other tasks.
- Ultimately, high-quality care delivered in the most efficient way possible means that your entire organization becomes more time and cost-efficient.
Patient Engagement Strategies
Given all of the multi-faceted benefits mentioned above, it is important to introduce specific strategies to improve the engagement of your patients. Below are some of the methods through which it is possible to activate your patients:
- Patient segmentation: Identifying patients who benefit the most from their engagement is essential. Usually, the application of engagement is most beneficial for individuals suffering from chronic conditions. Patient engagement in healthcare is most applicable to those individuals who need continuous care and increased adherence.
- Patient education: studies show that educated patients regarding their condition, especially if it is asymptomatic, report better outcomes regarding adherence. Consequently, if patients know their condition and understand the sense of urgency, they are more likely to be proactive and take preventive measures.
- Shared decision-making: patient engagement software allows patients and clinicians to enter a more continuous communication, outline goals, and reach conclusions in sync. This can result in fewer hospital admissions and effectively makes patients more engaged in their healthcare delivery.
- Continued care: it is important to maintain regular communication with your patients for their and your own benefit. Engaged patients aren’t activated once or twice; instead, it is a continuous process to continue improving care and workflow.
Patient Engagement Software Companies
You can increase your patients’ engagement by implementing various telemedicine solutions that directly or indirectly activate your patients. Depending on your clinic size and needs, you can choose between numerous providers. However, if you wish to utilize the services of a company that’s been in the healthcare industry for decades – you’ve come to the right place. Here at Vicert, we can leverage our position and unique expertise to ensure that you find the best tool to raise patient engagement in your healthcare institution. We will help you find, develop, and implement it – just leave it all to us.