Study: 5 ways hospital admins can improve digital patient engagement

Stemming from this years HIMSS 14, Jan Oldenburg and other industry experts have examined the issue of patient compliancy in lieu of the resurrected pat...

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|Jun 19|magazine6 min read

Stemming from this year’s HIMSS 14, Jan Oldenburg and other industry experts have examined the issue of patient compliancy in lieu of the resurrected patient engagement debate. From the conference, studies were resurfaced in order to being conversation around the long-debated issue of patient engagement, and where the patient’s position truly is walking into the 2014 modern healthcare landscape today.

A study from 2005 entitled, “The Challenge of Adherence” prompted original discussion about this hot-button issue, and a follow-up essay from 2012 has situated this topic as no longer a debate, but as a question now in need of an answer.

As an example of the costliness of this unanswered topic, the 2012 White Paper on Patient Engagement stated, “The topic is so well studied because it is so important:  a paper published in May, 2012, estimated the U.S. cost of non-adherence for only three conditions (diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia) was $105.8 billion in 2010, or an average cost of $453 per U.S. adult.  Translate those health system costs into worry, family stress, hospitalizations and premature death, and you begin to have a true picture of the impact of people who are not “complying with” the plan of care recommended by their providers.”

Experts and analysts alike have attempted to suggest new ways of approaching this seemingly timeless issues for healthcare professionals around the world, returning to the same core issues they have seen over the past 50 years; passivity, confusion, thoughtlessness and compliance.

Jan Oldenburg and her colleagues have addressed five new strategies for those executives and healthcare professionals looking to re-asses their patient engagement strategy:
 

1. Reject the language of passivity

2. Redefine ‘engagement’

3. Re-imagine the patient relationship

4. Redirect old attitudes

5. Cultivate a new partnership
 

Oldenburg also encouraged adaptors to consider the following, “These are actions individuals must take to obtain the greatest benefit from the health care services available to them. This definition focuses on behaviors of individuals relative to their health care that are critical and proximal to health outcomes, rather than the actions of professionals or policies of institutions. Engagement is not synonymous with complianceCompliance means an individual obeys a directive from a health care provider. Engagement signifies that a person is involved in a process through which he or she harmonizes robust information and professional advice with his or her own needs, preferences and abilities in order to prevent, manage and cure disease.”