Consumers are ready for patient engagement… Are providers?
Informed patients have lower readmission rates, better therapy adherence and reduced miscommunication errors among providers, outlining the critical need for providers to share patient data and engage with patients. Historically, such initiatives have often failed or have been underutilized. Nevertheless, the need and desire for patient engagement programs have increased in recent years, partially due to quality programs introduced with value-based care requirements, but also because of improvements and innovation in digital and mobile technology.
In determining the right way to engage patients, it is important to first examine previous initiatives and why they were unsuccessful. Under Meaningful Use, for example, five percent of patients were required to view and download their records. Many providers had a hard time meeting this requirement, and in order to comply, many resorted to patient rounds, traveling bed-to-bed, to request patients to download their records.
Many other initiatives have leveraged patient portals in efforts to increase engagement. When using such portals, patients are often faced with confusion surrounding the correct one to use – a hospital-specific portal, the primary physician’s portal, the surgeon’s portal or the payer’s portal? According to one client, portal usage statistics reveal patients are really only using them for financial information and not on a regular basis to manage care.