There’s more to patient engagement than spending big money on technology

Lately the term “patient engagement” is popping up in conversations among practice managers and independent physicians – but the term isn’t always one of endearment.

This is no surprise, considering physicians attesting for Stage 2 of “meaningful use” are required to prove they’re engaging patients by giving them secure online access to their health information. They’re also being bombarded with the message that patient engagement is critical to sustainability (e.g., If they don’t find a way to iChat with Susie Smith about her medications during their off hours, she’ll go elsewhere). 

The unfortunate consequence of this is that too many physicians have gotten lost in dollar signs and the perception that patient engagement equals more time and less money. Instead of regarding “patient engagement” – the practice of connecting and communicating with patients in an effort to improve their health and well-being – as something good for their practice, they sigh and think, “I have to answer all these e-mails” or “I’m the one who’s supposed to stare at your Apple Watch stats!?!”

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e-mail surveys, e-visits, follow-up appointments, Kareo, Meaningful Use, patient engagement, Telehealth, Yelp

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