Patient Engagement

Outcomes Depend on Engagement


Engagement: the state of being actively interested or committed

As we move from volume- to value-based reimbursement, it is critical to understand how to get patients actively engaged in their healthcare. Ultimately, we will be creating better outcomes—for patients and for the practices that care for them.

Build Relationships

Physicians and patients have always relied on a relationship built upon confidence and trust. Historically, patients trusted that their physician knew how to treat them and they relied on that care to achieve the mutually desired outcome of optimal health.

That same relationship exists today, but with a twist. More physicians now recognize that involving patients in their own healthcare dramatically improves the chances of a successful outcome. By educating and encouraging patient participation, doctors share responsibility for the effectiveness of the treatment plan, and for reaching the goal they’ve set out. This is not only critical to improving patient health, it is also a major factor in achieving an Accountable Care Organization’s (ACO) agenda, and a primary component of many government programs.

Keep Patients Informed

Today, patients have a flood of information at their fingertips, making them better informed than ever before, and they want to be involved in their own care. They expect doctors to provide them with the necessary information to understand and follow their treatment plans.

The right patient engagement platform helps turn patients into partners in their own healthcare. In addition, the right platform supports compliance with MIPS, a component of MACRA, and with meaningful use, by providing patients the ability to view, download, or share their medical record. But even more importantly, in a value-based payment world, engaged patients provide a stronger framework for improved health outcomes and increased revenues.

Increasingly, population health as well as patient health will be a vital concern for practices, and patient engagement is where relevant data on population health begins.

Personal Health Record

Turning patients into partners depends on their having access to their, or their family members’, health records, and the ability to monitor their progress. The patient health record needs to be well designed, highly functional, and easy to understand. Removing barriers to this information allows patients to access, review, understand, and comply with their physician’s directions—improving outcomes for everyone.

Communication is Critical

Secure Messaging

Patients and practice staff need to be able to exchange messages 24/7 in a secure, simple, and efficient manner. To improve the messaging experience for both sides, a number of parameters must be determined in advance—how messages get delivered based upon patient identity, which staff person receives each type of messages, etc. This enables staff and physicians to respond to patient queries at the appropriate time, and, if non-urgent, when it best suits their schedules. This streamlines both front and back office workflows and improves the patients’ experience, as well as their ability to communicate with their physicians.

Data Standardization and Sharing

Data is only helpful if it can be shared effectively. Data needs to be standardized so it can be accurately exchanged between different systems, allowing both doctors and patients to be confident about these records.

Population Health and Future Success

Patient engagement is one of the three pillars that support population health, the other two being care coordination, and data and analytics. Although the exact way that healthcare will be structured and reimbursed in the future is unclear, it is clear that it will require a new way of thinking to make the transition from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement models such as bundled payments and other risk-sharing reimbursement models.

Patient engagement is also required to meet upcoming MIPS objectives, such as “Patient Electronic Access” and “Coordination of Care Through Patient Engagement”. In order to satisfy these objectives, patients need to be provided access to their clinical information, receive patient-specific education, be able to view and download their charts, and have the ability to send and receive secure messages to and from their providers.

Increasingly, population health as well as patient health will be a vital concern for practices, and patient engagement is where relevant data on population health begins.

Learn About Our Patient Engagement Solution