HealthWare Systems Blog
Improving Patient Engagement Beyond the Healthcare Facility
Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Improving patient engagement leads to better health outcomes. Better health outcomes are generally seen in engaged patients who participate in their own health and healthcare decisions.
Truly successful patient engagement involves more than getting patients to participate during their visits, however. It requires patients to take an active role in their health in their every day life, after they’ve left the hospital or doctor’s office.
To improve patient engagement beyond your healthcare facility, make the following available to your patients (or encourage their use!):
There are numerous smart phone health apps out there that can help patients with a variety of health goals, from developing healthy habits to monitoring diabetes. These health apps can improve patient engagement by checking in with patients throughout the day and reminding them to follow their healthcare plan. To help patients sift through the overwhelming number of choices and avoid flawed or potentially harmful health apps, provide them with recommendations for doctor-approved app options.
Among the many benefits of using social media in healthcare is its capacity to improve patient engagement. Using social media in healthcare is a great way to connect patients to their health no matter where they are outside your facility! Use sites like Facebook and Twitter to share preventive health tips and promote interactive health campaigns.
Patients may be overwhelmed by the idea of learning how to use new technology such as health apps, social media, patient portals, digital medicine devices, and telemedicine. To ensure this does not discourage them from trying any of the above, consider the solution that Ochsner Health System implemented. This facility created the “O Bar,” a resource desk staffed by a technology expert who answers patients’ questions, demonstrates health apps, and troubleshoots issues with digital devices. Patients can “test drive” health technology and confirm they know how to use it before they go home.
Remember that improving patient engagement requires the commitment and collaboration of many parties: administrators, clinicians, staff, vendors, and the patients themselves. Of course patients must be willing to participate in their healthcare, but you can help motivate them by making these tools available, raising their awareness about the tools available, and teaching them how to use them.
Improving patient engagement beyond the healthcare facility using health apps, social media in healthcare, and learning resources can help you and your patients see better health outcomes and increase healthcare value.