3 ways to enhance patient engagement

Engaging patients in their own wellness and care--as well as their personal health data--is necessary to qualify for new payment models and incentives and to improve outcomes. 

Looking for some creative strategies to engage patients? Tech reporter Allison Diana compiled a whopping 16 of them in a slideshow for InformationWeek. Here are just three of the recommendations:

Electronic messages to patients: "Meaningful Use Stage 2 mandates that more than 5 percent of patients communicate with healthcare providers via secure electronic messages," Diana writes. "Increased messaging saves on phone costs and pleases patients with its convenience and immediacy." At Children's Medical Center in Dallas, for example, patients and families averaged 480 messages monthly over six months in 2013, a number that is expected to increase, according to the article. 

Readmission reduction: In Danville, Pa., Geisinger Health Plan's telehealth program reduced readmissions by 44 percent and improved relations between patients and staff when caseworkers following up with heart failure patients after they left the hospital, according to the article. As FierceHealthcare has reported, Charleston (W.V.) Area Medical Center used a follow-up call system for heart failure patients and reduced readmissions by 25 percent; William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wis., cut them by 11 percent using a similar system.

Emphasize pain reduction: St. John's Children's Hospital in Springfield, Ill., equips patient rooms with GetWellTown, a network that gives patients access to educational videos, the Internet and TV programming, as well as prompting children to rank their current pain levels on a scale of one to 10, according to the article. "This helps nurses prioritize helping those patients in the most pain, and it has enabled the hospital to improve its patient satisfaction scores for pain control by 68 percent," Diana writes. Provider pain control efforts have been linked to patient satisfaction scores, as FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the slideshow