Patient engagement key for healthcare systems

docusingipadIn a recent study, 77 percent of physicians believed patients understood their diagnosis, but only 57 percent of patients could correctly state their diagnosis. Limited or poor communication channels between patients and providers also can inhibit full plan adherence and prevent timely identification of preventable complications.

As Chas Roades said in a Health Affairs Blog Post: As public and private sector health care purchasers shift payment models towards value and as demographic changes result in more chronically ill patients entering the health care system, patient engagement efforts will become increasingly important to the financial sustainability and clinical success of these hospitals and health systems.

New patient engagement efforts shift focus from the inpatient core of hospitals to ambulatory care settings and to the integration of care into the homes and communities of patients. To succeed at these efforts, organizations must build longitudinal partnerships with patients to drive ongoing management of chronic conditions and utilization of preventive care services to drive long-term quality and cost outcomes.

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With an over capacity of beds and hospitals fighting for patients it will be interesting to see if healthcare systems, especially hospitals, can become more patient friendly and engage patients.  More importantly can they engage patients in a way that is important to patients ?  Here in California Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital, where I had my torn rotator cuff repaired, could not wait to get me out the door as soon as I awoke from surgery.  Even though I was still a big confused from the anesthesia I was wheeled out the door to await my ride home.  I can assure you that I will not be going back there anytime soon.

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Patients not only want to know what is happening they want to know why it’s happening.  If for example an MRI is ordered patients want to know why and the cost of this procedure as an MRI at a hospital can cost almost twice as other medical facilities.  Patient engagement has to be focused around the patient not the healthcare institution.

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