What Are the Best Ways to Enhance Patient Engagement Across the Healthcare System?

May 1, 2014

Ask The Expert with Daniel Fell

Daniel FellRecently, my 91-year-old father voiced considerable frustration about changes in his insur­ance plan. Rather than presenting changes in a clear, concise manner, the plan used language that only confused him more and forced him to spend hours on the phone talking to customer service representatives.

At the time, I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to gain access to my doctor’s new patient portal so I could see test results and schedule routine appointments. I’ve filled out forms, made phone calls, and con­tinue to wait for some access code to be mailed to me. Worse, I get the feeling my doctor’s office staff isn’t all that concerned whether or not I have online access to my personal health record.

Despite all the advances in modern medicine, the healthcare system itself still suffers from a seemingly endless supply of barriers keeping patients and healthcare workers from en­gaging in more meaningful ways – let alone motivating consumers to take on more of their own wellness and healthcare maintenance respon­sibilities!

But that is changing. As the focus of payers and providers continues moving toward more prevention, wellness, and better disease man­agement, the need for involving con­sumers and patients in their care earlier and in smarter ways is also growing. And that need is often tied to powerful reimbursement incen­tives for healthcare organizations. As a result, the concept of “patient engagement” has taken off across many sectors of the industry.

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