This was an article I published in Dorland Health June 2013.
Patient engagement is on the minds of healthcare leaders today who care about the Affordable Care Act and its driver, healthcare reform. While many healthcare leaders embrace the engagement as a concept, challenges loom large in an industry characterized by opposing financial incentives that have, heretofore, kept patients passive, and suffering from preventable and progressive conditions that lead to rising healthcare costs.
According to Susan Dentzer, former editor of Health Affairs, “Research shows that more informed and empowered patients, who participate with their providers in making wise care decisions, have better health outcomes – and there’s some evidence that they even have lower healthcare costs. And, if there were a blockbuster in this case, the “drug” is actually a concept – patient activation and engagement – that should have formed the heart of health care all along.”
While its timing as a critical success factor is unarguably late, it’s now the perfect storm as the ACA becomes law (unbeknownst to consumers) and our U.S. economy struggles under the weight of “sickness” and “pay for procedure” incentives that have made our healthcare system one of the most inefficient on the planet. Despite our high cost of care, including hospital readmissions rates, lack of primary care physicians, and unpaid and uninsured caregivers, we as Americans still expect a positive healthcare experience.
So, as we collectively move forward to a new world where patients are informed and empowered participants in healthcare, evaluate the “3 P’s” in the design and implementation of your patient engagement strategies: planning, partnerships and personalization. Read more here...