Keys to a Quality Patient Engagement Strategy

Patient engagement advisors

Every day, doctors see about two million patients, the majority of whom are satisfied with their care. These statistics reveal that, in general, patient satisfaction is quite high:

  • According to Becker’s Hospital Review, 77% of U.S. healthcare patients are satisfied with their healthcare providers.
  • According to a February 2012 study by HawkPartners/ICARE Global Patient Pulse, 84% of U.S. patients are satisfied with the care they receive from their pharmacists.
  • Only about 12% of U.S. patients wish there were shorter wait times for appointments and procedures.
  • Business Wire reports that American patients feel satisfied with their primary care physicians about 93% of the time.

As part of the effort to encourage a greater focus on patient-centered care, the federal government recently implemented new Medicare reimbursement strategies that hold each healthcare provider accountable for the implementation of a patient engagement strategy, effective inside and outside hospital walls. As healthcare providers recognize the need for solutions that further engage patients, it is important for them to consider the essential components of a patient engagement strategy that promotes care quality, safety, and cost efficiency. Here, we’ll look at ten of those factors.

  1. Address regulations. There are four federal programs which will significantly impact hospitals through the use of Medicare penalties and incentives. To qualify for incentives and avoid penalties, each hospital will have to employ a new patient engagement strategy that actually works to improve outcomes and overall patient experience.
  2. Leverage investments. There are many solutions that can help hospitals meet engagement goals, but many are too expensive. Look for solutions that allow your to leverage your existing investments to deliver interactive tools, information, and education to patients.
  3. Define the patient’s role. Patient communication is key to helping them understand what their roles are. Provide them with tools that facilitate collaboration and explain the benefits of engaging in the care process.
  4. Assess individual needs. Develop a system for uncovering baseline information critical to patient engagement. It should include health literacy, the need for assistive devices, and discovery of any factors that might impact comprehension.
  5. Educate individually. The same patient engagement strategy won’t work for every patient. Use information from the needs assessment to deliver information in a format easily understood by the patient. The more relevant to the patient’s circumstances, the greater the chance that the patient will remember and act upon your recommendation.
  6. Teach the patient. The more a patient knows about his or her condition, treatment, and possible consequences of not following instructions, the more likely it is that he or she will actively engage in care, adhere to treatments, and make healthy choices.

A quality patient engagement strategy looks at the patient as a whole person and gives him or her an element of control. The better you can master that interaction, the more likely it is that your patient will take ownership of treatment and succeed in implementing it.

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