Online portals top list of patient engagement tools

Here’s the good news: Sixty-nine percent of healthcare providers are using patient engagement to get patients more involved in their own care. But it should be closer to 100 percent, argue Kevin Volpp, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, and Namita S. Mohta, M.D., clinical editor at NEJM Catalyst.

What patient engagement strategies are most popular?

Executives, clinical leaders and clinicians surveyed on patient engagement initiatives at their organizations said it's the patient portal at 88 percent, seconded by secure e-mail at 77 percent, according to Volpp and Mohta’s article in NEJM Catalyst.

Other findings:

  • 72 percent of providers are using online scheduling
  • 68 percent are leveraging patent-generated data such as readings from blood glucose monitors
  • 33 percent report that portals present the most successful means to engage with patients
  • 14 percent said secure e-mail is an effective patient engagement tool
  • 90 percent of healthcare leaders say care coordinators are essential to successful patient engagement

The authors note that hiring a care coordinator is a “litmus test” for the level of importance providers place on patient engagement.

But is all the time and effort with patient engagement actually keeping patients healthy? Fourteen percent of healthcare executives said such initiatives are having a major impact and 34 percent report they’re having a moderate impact on quality outcomes.

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