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The Strategy to Successful Patient Engagement

If you want certain things planned out beforehand, like routine immunization for your child, or payment of the overdue medical bill, or you do not want to wait in the visitor's lounge of some hospital, it is now possible with the click of your smartphone. Just like any other service-driven industry, the HIT industry is also moving at breakneck speed. The most important buzzword in the health care industry today is patient engagement.

Patient care is a novel activity of positively involving the patients in their health outcomes through collaboration, feedback, understanding, and education. Improved communication is the basic key that runs through each of these components aimed at improving patient care.

The concept of patient engagement is akin to consumer engagement or customer satisfaction.

It is all about better outcomes for the mutual benefit of both the health care provider and the patient. Patient engagement is very important from the viewpoint of the company as well to make it more profitable. In fact, nowadays, patient engagement also means patient empowerment. After all, it is making an individual ultimately accountable for his or her own health and well being.

Online patient portal is the new reality for successful patient engagement. This set of tools, processes, and actions that empower providers and patients to make informed decisions is what patient engagement, in reality, refers to. There are three parameters to patient engagement, as follows:

1. The patient's willingness to manage their own health and care, and of their relatives, with appropriate knowledge, skills, and ability.

2. The culture of the hospital or health care provider that gives importance to interaction with patients.

3. It also requires active collaboration between the two to ably design, manage, and achieve positive health outcomes. The development of a simple assessment tool for the level of patient engagement could assist in tailoring care to individual patient needs, provide a metric value which could be recorded in clinical notes and assist clinicians when responding to complaints.

Active patient engagement measures are always considered a good thing in practices and health care organizations. It is vital to the business of delivering care.

Since online bookings and other services are available 24/7 in all the good hospitals, it saves precious time and energy as well. In the trade fairs and expos, booths and kiosks are plastered with vendors extending services in patient engagement.

This is important for better outcomes and a more sustainable practice.

Strategies for patient engagement go a long way in taking a hospital or patient-care organization to the next skies. We are rounding below some of the approaches that lead to higher patient satisfaction.

The primary aim is improving the patient experience. Nowadays, patients who afford to pay also expect services at par with the hospitality industry. They expect and demand greater control over their care. In fact, there are new metrics to rate the performance of a hospital partly based on how they are rated by patients. In very advanced countries, the corporate culture has set in and the strategy includes health care organizations and individual providers being eventually paid partly based on how they are rated by patients.

For achieving better health care results, there are practices like accountable care organizations that have the power to transform health care services by providing health services at affordable prices by bringing to board the community of doctors. There are proposals for patient-centered medical homes that are excellent caregivers along with offering the best medical advice and care.

Cost reduction is always at the core of any commercial engagement to reach out to a greater number of people. Better patient engagement can improve efficiency, reduce out-migration, and reduce overall costs of patient care. Simple solutions are always better and most easily adaptable for everyone. Being simple, they grow in popular use overtime as people are generally averse to adopting new methods or changes. Introduction and implementation of easier solutions will create the required momentum for traction. Also, the correct strategy is to retain the patients who will also gradually adopt the changes that are for their benefit. The ultimate goal is a better understanding between the patients and hospital providers. Correct strategy would be serving the patients that are ready to be part of the engagement process while utilizing tools that do not require complex integration.

Another silver lining to the process, patient engagement is also good for staff members. The bottom line is that there is no replacement for a meaningful relationship with a health care provider for driving patient engagement experience in the most convenient and mutually beneficial processes. Patients who are satisfied with the services of the health care provider have greater chances of adhering to the practice, treatment plans, and bill payment procedure. This is a win-win situation for both the parties where ultimately quality triumphs.

Experts believe that there can be no patient engagement strategy complete without getting patient feedback prior to implementation. Conducting surveys is one excellent tool for finding out what your patients want or need. Trying to gauge a wish list of your patients is a good idea before formulating the best strategies for them. This wish list could include myriad things like the ability to schedule an appointment online, accessible patient education resources from your practice's website, or an easy-to-fill intake form that allows the doctor to know patient's history. These surveys are better tools to improve the patient engagement profile.

Patient's personal interests must be given preeminent importance after they have a clear picture of their diseases and viable options available. The right to choose, continue, or terminate the services must always lie with the patient and this process should be smooth, transparent, and comfortable for them.

Patient Engagement Is Patient Service
To care for the sick is heavenly.

Patient engagement is all about actively involving your patients in their health outcomes through collaboration, feedback, understanding, and education. Communication is the ultimate cementing force which runs through each of these key components that only, in the end, will lead to improved patient care. As far as individuals are concerned, patient engagement strategies include taking charge of the portfolio oneself. But, when it comes to managing public health, systematic local interventions is the key to preventing illness at the population level. In the modern value-driven world, achieving the aim of optimum health care for all is of paramount importance to enhance the care continuum.

The advancement has seen a paradigm shift in the recent years. The essential strategy of patient engagement has undergone a sea change.

But, it must be realized that the successful implementation of the program requires time and patience as well as improvement in communication channels. Meanwhile, people continue to have different opinions and interpretation of things and the associated changes.

— This blog is presented by Sharda Hospital, one of the largest super specialty hospitals in Delhi National Capital Region.