3 ways providers can drive patient engagement

The healthcare industry's shift from volume to value has made it more important than ever for hospitals and healthcare organizations to actively engage patients in their care, according to Health Affairs.

Research has shown that engaged patients are more likely to pursue preventive care, engage in healthy behaviors and follow their providers' advice, the article states, and increased patient engagement can even mean reduced healthcare spending.

Providers that want to take advantage of the benefits of patient engagement should adopt the following strategies, according to Health Affairs:

Harness data. Healthcare should embrace the increased availability of quality and outcomes data, driven in part by push for transparency in healthcare, which allows patients to function as informed consumers more than ever before, the article states. There's still much work to be done in this realm, however, as cost information remains confusing and oftentimes inaccessible to the average patient. The rise of electronic medical records, though, also offers unprecedented opportunities for patients and providers to connect.

Make healthcare decisions a shared venture. A disconnect between provider and patient knowledge may contribute to high costs and unnecessary care. As an alternative, the concept of shared decision-making emphasizes the power of a strong doctor-patient relationship to improve health outcomes, the article states. Specifically, decision aids provide patients with a better understanding of their choices and risks and an overall better care experience.

Reach out socially. The rising power of millennial-driven trends has encouraged many hospitals and health systems to engage their communities through social media, a tool some have even used to learn how to provide better care. Indeed, "social marketing, specifically the use of social media, can engage patients and make them feel like a part of the hospital community," the article states. Some research, however, suggests that hospitals could do more to harness the full benefits of this type of engagement.

To learn more:
- read the article