Better engagement, better outcomes
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Gone are the days were patients are simply a passive recipient in care. Healthcare providers are expected to engage patients in their own health and treatment options. Patients must be fully informed of their condition and their options. Technology is helping us to do just that.
E is the magic letter
· Effective Communication
Patient facing technology promotes patient empowerment, fact (ask the WHO! ). Having an easy to understand user interface to monitor your progress after a total hip replacement for example is an exctellent way to monitor the small steps in the recovery process and keep you engaged and motivated. Patients feel involved in their care and understand their condition and how they are progressing. Empowered patients have better outcomes, driven by what they do outside of their treatment sessions (2.
Let’s not forget about clinicians, it makes our days’ work more fulfilling and our job easier by decreasing administration time and giving us figures to measure progress despite the often-ongoing pain of the patient.
Allowing our patients access to their information which makes them more adherent to home exercises programs with more specific measurable goals, empowers us to provide the best level of care.
Technology helps with education on your condition. Clinicians must proactively enable patients to have more accessible interactions and situations that promote health and well-being . Health literacy is the primary responsibility of clinicians. We determine the parameters of the health interaction, including the setting, time, communication style, content, modes of information provided, and health care decisions . Using layman terms, engaging the patients with questions and providing understandable patient facing reports are ways we can use technology to help the patient understand their condition which engages them in their treatment and ensures there are no barriers for those who don’t understand medical jargon.
Having patient facing records available allows patients to communicate directly with their care team, coordinate across departments and even interact with other patients with similar conditions. This creates a connected and supported health network. It also allows tailored information, education and monitoring that align with a specific patient condition and stage of recovery .
The majority of people have mobile phones and interact with their device 13 times per hour. This is a great way to make information more accessible and improve patient flow, feedback and engagement.
Having technology to aid with assessment, gather the data and allow us to track the patient progress with standardised reporting, saves clinicians time and allows them to focus on the complex biopsychosocial interaction of an assessment. This decreases the workload for the clinician but increases patient outcomes. Patient reports can be accessed more quickly which is especially useful in a multidisciplinary team. When a patient feels everyone is in the loop and working towards the same shared goals, they are more engaged in their own care .
In a sterile medical environment, new technology is exciting for both the clinician and the patient. Most patients want something to take away from their assessment, they want to know what is wrong with them so they can tell their family and friends and mostly, they want to get better. Technology is making this easier for clinicians and patients are very happy with the better level of care.
There are many studies showing the correlation between improving patient engagement with technology and improved health outcomes, satisfaction, and treatment efficiency. All of which brings down the overall cost.
Patient engagement has risen with healthcare technology but we must continue to strive for adoption  and develop ways to integrate into current practices.
Technologies next frontier will be in predictive analytics giving patients more information to base their choices of treatment on again furthering empowerment and engagement .
At Vitrue Health we are excited to be part of the movement in providing patients with better assessment information that is understandable and quantitative so that they can fully engage and accelerate recovery.
1. WHO, Patient Engagement: Technical Series on Safer Primary Care ISBN 978-92-4-151162-9
2. Grando M, Rozenblum R, Bates DW, eds. Information Technology for Patient Empowerment in Healthcare.Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter Inc.; 2015. ISBN: 9781614515920.
3. Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAPHS). About CAPHS Item Set for Addressing Health Literacy [Document No. 1311] Washington, DC: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; to fully Education is key
4. Yee KC, Bettiol S, Nash R et al, 2018. How Can Information and Communication Technology Improve Healthcare Inequalities and Healthcare Inequity? The Concept of Context Driven Care. Stud Health Technol Inform. ;247:591-595.
6. Dykes PC, Rozenblum R, Dalal A, et al, 2017. Prospective evaluation of a multifaceted intervention to improve outcomes in intensive care: the promoting respect and ongoing safety through patient engagement communication and technology study. Crit Care Med. 2017;45:e806-e813.
7. Kakad M, Rozenblum R, Bates DW, 2017. Getting buy-in for predictive analytics in health care. Harv Bus Rev. May-June 2017;95:2-5.