eHealth and Patient Engagement

November 3, 2011
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Given the charge to engage patients and improve their healthcare experience, eHealth is moving to the forefront of adoption.  While patient care remains the most vital priority for healthcare providers, patients now have greater access to health information and are more determined than ever to take control of their care.   With more sophisticated, informed and assertive customers, healthcare providers are no longer competing solely with each other but with other, more progressive industries that have set the standard for delivering the service experienced consumers expect.

According to the HIMSS E-Health Special Interest Group, eHealth is defined as the application of Internet and other related technologies in the healthcare industry to improve the access, efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of clinical and business processes utilized by healthcare organizations, practitioners, patients, and consumers to improve the health status of patients.  Application of these vital technologies can help healthcare organizations develop and maintain ongoing patient engagement. Not only will it improve the patient experience, but it will also produce these key results:

  • Increased patient adherence – monitoring and engaging with patients at key stages of therapy improves clinical outcomes
  • Improved patient/customer retention – consistent, personalized communication keeps your organization top of mind and customers/patients become more loyal
  • Optimized prescription management – contacting patients about prescription refills, order status and medication education positively impacts pharmaceutical care
  • Improved revenue cycle management – appointment reminders, self-service payments and educating patients about the expectations and timelines for co-pays, self-insurance and fees not covered by insurance

And by simultaneously improving quality, safety, outcomes and financial status, your organization immediately reaps a halo effect through retention of committed physicians, patients and employees.   As noted by MedSeek, “eHealth has now become the center― the linchpin―that binds the government’s healthcare reform policy together.  Not only can eHealth provide long-term economic benefits by automating manual processes and reducing errors, but it can also make our nation’s health system more patient-oriented and potentially improve our citizens’ overall quality of life.”