Providers divided on best way to improve patient engagement

Most healthcare providers believe that improved patient engagement leads to better outcomes, but were divided on the best strategies to accomplish this, according to survey results published in an NEJM Catalyst blog post.

Forty-two percent of the 340 hospital or healthcare executives, clinicians and clinical leaders who responded to the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council survey, reported that less than a quarter of their patients were highly engaged in their care decisions. More than 70 percent said less than half of their patients are highly engaged. Only 9 percent of respondents reported high levels of engagement among their patients. 

"These results highlight the challenges in front of us; while having patients who are engaged with their health and with the health system is important, low rates of engagement appear to be the norm," wrote study authors Kevin Volpp M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania and Namita S. Mohta, M.D., of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The best solution for improving engagement, according to nearly 60 percent of survey respondents, is having doctors, nurses and other clinicians spend more time with patients, The study authors also suggested alternative communication methods like email as potential cost-cutting approaches to increase time with patients. Shared decision-making tools were viewed as another possible solution, with 54 percent of respondents finding such methods to be effective. 

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- here's the post