Patient engagement is more than just a piece of the Meaningful Use requirements – it’s a long-term strategy for improving healthcare. We recently wrote a post on the 7 ways patient engagement can make and save you money. Beyond the clear financial benefits of patient engagement, it's clear patient engagement can have a huge impact on care outcomes. When patients are more engaged in their care, they're more likely to adhere to treatment plans, spot the warning signs, and connect with their doctor before a minor problem becomes catastrophic.
"The interest in patient engagement is because of countless studies and empirical data that have confirmed what our common sense has known for years - when people are empowered and have a voice, you have better outcomes."
Chris Cashwell, Lincor Solutions
But for many providers, how to actually achieve patient engagement is a mystery. How do you actually get patients engage? What do patients what? What does it take to really empower patients so that they can take up the role of care partner? These questions served as the starting point for our infographic on patient engagement below.
What we found from our research is that patients want better ways to connect with their doctors and manage their health with modern technology. Though most doctors offices still rely on telephone calls, for instance, many patients would prefer to communicate via email or text. Having a way to conveniently access their medical records too, would get patients more engaged in their personal healthcare. In fact, 41% of patients would even consider switching physicians if they couldn't get access to their medical records online. That's huge. It means getting that kind of access is becoming such an important thing to patients, that it's beginning to outweigh the value of their doctor-patient relationship.
Many patients are also experimenting with mHealth apps and telemedicine. And that's no wonder since 64% of American adults now own a smartphone. Patients are becoming more open to new ways of receiving care (like via telemedicine) and managing their health via their smartphones. In fact, 75% of patients who haven't used telemedicine before, said they were interested in trying it as an alternative to an urgent care visit. And an overwhelming 96% of patients said they believe mHealth apps would help them improve their care. 9/10 patients in a recent survey said if their physician prescribed an app, they'd use it.
All those stats give physicians a clearer roadmap to how to increase patient engagement. If you can get more patients using reliable, quality mHealth apps and engage with them online the way other businesses do, you're likely to see a huge difference in your quality of care. Follow the steps we've outlined in our patient engagement infographic below, and watch your practice change for the better.