The promise of patient engagement

With patient engagement still in its early stages, organizations are looking to strategically move toward the real, meaningful engagement that will lead to better outcomes, more cost-effective care and a positive patient experience.
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Dave deBronkart beat stage IV kidney cancer in 2007 by taking an active role in his own health. As a result, he realized how powerful and life-saving patient engagement can be. Since then, he has authored the book, Let Patients Help! A Patient Engagement Handbook, and delivered speeches on the topic at conferences around the world. Through this advocacy work, he has become widely known as “e-Patient Dave.”

While he has been trumpeting the patient engagement cause for years, the concept has only recently become a hot-button issue in healthcare. In fact, the industry has reached a tipping point and is ready from philosophical, technical and financial standpoints to throw its arms around patient engagement.

Indeed, nearly three-quarters of the 330 respondents to the 26th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey indicated that consumer and patient considerations, such as patient engagement, satisfaction and quality of care, would be the business issue that would most impact their organization over the course of the next two years. Thus, many healthcare organizations are apt to migrate toward creating systems that offer the interoperable data to support such initiatives.

As observed by deBronkart, that could lead to the type of patient engagement that transforms the care experience: “When interoperable data becomes accessible to the ultimate stakeholder, that is, the patient, it has the potential to seed new forms of growth oriented around value as defined by the ultimate stakeholder, the one for whom we do healthcare – patients and their families.”

Challenges still abound. With patient engagement still in its early stages, organizations are looking to strategically move toward the real, meaningful engagement that will lead to better outcomes, more cost-effective care and a positive patient experience.

To gather additional insight into how healthcare organizations can move forward with such initiatives, HIMSS Analytics published Patient Engagement Insights, a study based on a quantitative survey of leaders from 114 healthcare organizations as well as a qualitative focus group that involved nine of these executives.

To learn more about the study, click here.