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National eHealth Collaborative Releases the Patient Engagement Framework

National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) recently hosted a webinar to release the Patient Engagement Framework, a model created to guide healthcare organizations in developing and strengthening their patient engagement strategies through the use of eHealth tools and resources. The Framework is the result of several months of collaboration and iteration with many interested stakeholders.  

“We hope this Patient Engagement Framework will be a useful resource for healthcare organizations,” said NeHC CEO Kate Berry. “We are at a critical moment when patient engagement is becoming increasingly important given the movement toward meaningful use and accountable care. We as individuals should be more engaged in managing and improving our own health. This Framework is intended as a guide organizations can aspire to as they move in this direction.”  

The Patient Engagement Framework outlines several attributes of organizations that successfully engage and support patients, and ultimately their communities, in their care. The Framework provides a series of phases to show the progression from a provider-centric model to one that is truly patient-centered. The phases of the Framework include inform me, engage me, empower me, partner with me, and support my community. Within these phases, the Framework is organized to build on an organization’s capabilities including information and way-finding, e-tools, forms and patient education, patient access to their information, patient role in generating their information, and patient role in the care team.  

“The patient is the point of health information, and a framework for systematically keeping the patient’s interests at the center of health information technology helps us move toward higher-performance, higher-value healthcare,” said Dr. Jon Perlin, CMO and president of clinical services at the Hospital Corporation of America. “This is a great way for healthcare to measure how prepared they are for patient engagement.”

The Framework took into consideration several existing resources and patient engagement measures, including those required by meaningful use stage 1 and stage 2.  More than 100 individuals from across the healthcare, patient engagement, and behavioral science fields reviewed and provided input on the Framework. Since January, the Framework has circulated among several groups, including the Partnership for Women and Families, The Foundation for Informed Decision Making, Healthwise employees and advisors, the Long Term Post Acute Care Association, members of HL7, members of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Health IT Standards and Policy Committees, and members of the Consumer Consortium on eHealth. NeHC thanks Leslie Kelly Hall, senior vice president of policy at Healthwise and a member of the Consumer Consortium Steering Committee for her extraordinary leadership in this effort.

“It was important that we create a tool that could be adapted to a variety of care settings and be a practical guide for organizations really trying to strengthen their patient engagement strategies,” said Hall. “Each time we reviewed the Framework with a group we incorporated feedback and refined our final product. The entire process was a great learning experience and brought us closer to understanding the needs of many communities in trying to effectively engage patients by using health IT.  We recognize that the Framework will continue to be refined.”

To provide a concrete tool for organizations to assess their status of consumer engagement efforts and to make progress on implementing the Patient Engagement Framework, NeHC in partnership with HealthCAWS will soon be releasing an online assessment and supporting tools. The NeHC eHealth Consumer Engagement Organizational Assessment is a business intelligence tool mapped to the concepts and recommendations of the Framework. The Consumer Engagement Organizational Assessment is designed to provide customized progress reports and guidance for improving consumer engagement strategies. In addition to progress reports to help organizations assess where they are along the Framework and opportunities for improvement, the online tool provides a directory of consumer engagement resources and eHealth solutions.

Source: National eHealth Collaborative