Patient Engagement

Are you read for the newest term to hit healthcare reform?  It is called “patient engagement”.    Somehow this will defined in a muddy kind of way and used to grade a physician or practice to see if they are truly “engaging” patients.  In the American Medical News, they discussed the layers of patient engagement that are being batted around.  “The National eHealth Collaborative asked health care organization leaders (god knows who they are?)to pick their top two ways to describe patient engagement out of a list of 10. These were the five most often cited definitions and percentage of those who chose them.”

  • 64.0%: Patient uses educational material and online resources to learn about better health or their own health conditions.
  • 58.7%: Patient uses tools and resources to manage his or her medical record and other health data.
  • 41.3%: Patient feels comfortable challenging doctor when something doesn’t seem right or when explanations are not clear.
  • 38.4%: Patient feels comfortable discussing health issues and questions with doctor or nurse face to face.
  • 38.4%: Patient communicates with doctor about changes in health status in a timely way.

When I put my business hat on I understand where this comes from.  If I was able to own and run my own practice and had control over my career then I could see how this can be used for good.  A direct care model with patients paying less but paying me would push me to allow for incredible engagement.   Go to www.atlas.md as a great example.  Using the present insurance/Medicare/Medicaid model is a whole different animal and this will only lead to confusion and penalties for not following their “rules”.

 

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