Patient Engagement Helps Healthcare Systems And Patient Outcomes

Patient engagement helps healthcare systems and patient outcomes in many ways. Here's what to know about how it works and why it's so important

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June 26, 2019
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Patient engagement is a term which we have heard a lot about, but sometimes many individuals are not clear what it refers to. Patient engagement is a process in which patients proactively work together with their healthcare providers towards some common goals: to improve health, reduce medical costs, and enhance their overall experience. It is an effort made by the patients where they work in conjunction with their healthcare providers and follow the provided treatment plans and other activities to achieve better health.

If the patients voluntarily participate and engage with healthcare providers, it not only improves the quality of the services but also results in lower hospital readmission rates, resulting in reduced medical costs for all parties involved. The patients who are in constant communication and participate in engagement with their healthcare providers are more likely to prevent adverse health outcomes. When healthcare providers support their patients by handing them various tools to increase the interactions, the overall service is improved, as better patient outcomes are witnessed.

However, there are caveats to this. Not all patients want to engage voluntarily when the healthcare systems provide them with opportunities. Such patients usually have a common tendency to ignore the initial symptoms, deeming them unimportant. This frequently and expectedly results in poor health outcomes, which in turn leads to higher rates of readmission with the worst-case scenario being a visit to the emergency room. On the other hand, if a patient chooses to engage proactively with his/her healthcare provider with the provided tools, CircleCare, for instance, the results are mostly positive- they contact their healthcare systems the instant they face any physical problem or discomfort, making any health issue easily treatable in the earliest stage.

Benefits To Consider

Patients who continuously engage with their healthcare providers are more aware and knowledgeable of their symptoms and are more likely to contact their physicians regarding any health issues they might face. They proactively address the red flags the instant these symptoms start and keep in constant communication with their doctors to address their concerns promptly until said issues are resolved.

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Patient engagement also has another advantage. When the patients are acting on their own with the assistance of their healthcare providers in the healthcare process, it sheds light on the fact that these patients are responsible as they do not wait around for their health to reach a critical stage. This proactiveness results in the dramatic reduction of hospitals readmission rates, which occurs due to better patient outcomes and thus, associated costs are reduced. Therefore, if the patients frequently participate and use the tools provided by their healthcare systems for patient engagement, a significant number of hospital readmissions could be avoidable.

There are two things which can be understood from all of the above- hospital readmission rates are hugely reduced and so are the related medical costs, and these two are the primary benefits of successful patient engagement. Patients who actively engage with their healthcare providers spend less time and money on repetitive treatments because they follow through with the original plans their physicians prescribe them which help improve their health right from the beginning of the treatment procedures.

According to research, whenever patients were proactively engaged with their healthcare providers and followed the instructions provided, the results were significantly positive. The study concludes that the patients in an engagement based care settings resulted in a reduction of overall mortality by 76% and cardiac death by 73%.

Patient Engagement Provides Many Advantages

Patient engagement also results in improved satisfaction with the services provided by their healthcare systems. When the patients are more engaged with their healthcare providers, it enhances the trust they have on the latter and decreases their anxieties, thus, making them feel more at ease.

Engaging with healthcare providers also inspires the patients to see their health from a different perspective. As a result, they work harder according to their physicians’ instructions to improve their health behaviors day in and day out.

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Patients that are actively engaged with their healthcare providers are more likely to meet their physicians once treatment is complete. Also, after the completion of their treatment, they tend to follow-up whether they can take any measures to maintain a healthy life. These type of proactiveness and preventative measures reduce hospital readmission rates, thus lowering the overall cost of healthcare that falls upon the patient as well as the hospitals, compared to those who are not proactive and contacts the healthcare system once they are facing health-related issues and might need emergency treatment.

Therefore, we can conclude that patient engagement with the doctors and other facilitators of the healthcare service is exceptionally crucial. Without proper participation from the patients with the help of the healthcare systems, there is not much the hospitals, clinics, or physicians can do to help them.

A lack of engagement from the patients, to summarize, makes it extremely difficult for their healthcare systems to provide proper treatment and may very well result in miscommunication, misunderstanding, and repeated hospital admissions. Effective consultation, prescription, and medicine are only possible when both the patients and the healthcare providers work together.

Conclusion

How does a healthcare system ensure active patient engagement? By providing tools to the patients for better communication, health, and outcomes. CircleCare is such a tool. It is an app which is used by healthcare systems to ensure patient engagement. Once a hospital subscribes to CircleCare, all they need to do is direct the patients to download it. Using the app, patients can get a variety of facilities like recording their glucose level, track their steps, schedule their medicine, get health-related tips, and also communicate with the hospitals to ensure effective communication and better patient outcomes.