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Top Four Patient Engagement Trends to Follow from October

Within the month of October, there have been various new trends affecting patient engagement throughout the healthcare space.

By Vera Gruessner

- As the healthcare industry moves forward in reforming many of its practices in an effort to improve health outcomes, lower medical costs, and strengthen the patient experience, it grows more important than ever before to implement useful patient engagement trends and strategies.

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Within the month of October, there have been various new trends affecting patient engagement throughout the healthcare space. Below we outline the type of patient engagement trends that healthcare providers would benefit from incorporating.

Accountable Care Organizations Integrate Patient Engagement

With healthcare reforms bringing forward new payment models and new standards of care, it is important to understand how greater engagement could affect the development of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and other versions of care.

mHealthIntelligence.com reported on patient engagement trends regarding the development of ACOs and value-based care. Patient-centered medical care is vital when creating the more coordinated Accountable Care Organization.

Telemedicine and Patient Engagement Go Hand-in-Hand

Among the multitude of patient engagement trends taking place within the healthcare industry, telemedicine is one that could truly make an impact on expanding the physician-patient relationship and improving communication between medical specialists and consumers.

mHealthIntelligence.com spoke with Dr. Reena Pande, cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, last month and learned about the affect telemedicine plays in bolstering patient engagement.

“With respect to engagement, I think the task for us as a healthcare system is really to think about what barriers exist for patients to get the type of care they need and how to remove those barriers,” Pande described.

“We’ve been a bit hospital and healthcare system-centric and we’re flipping that model to be more patient-centric and to think about how we can put the patient back at the center of the model. Figure out how to best serve them, how to figure out what’s standing in their way, and how to remove those barriers.”

“I do strongly believe that making it simple for a patient and a provider to engage with one another remotely – by telephone or video – and removing the barriers is a key factor to improving patient engagement. It is beneficial to simplify access to that type of care and reach a provider at a time that patients need to,” she concluded.

Combining the Patient Experience in Clinical Trials

When it comes to treatments and drug development, there has been little perspective given from patients’ viewpoints. While clinical trials do include subjects recruited for particular drug studies, there are few engagement strategies and the patient experience is not fully taken into account.

mHealthIntelligence.com recently reported how getting more input from patients and clinical trial subjects would benefit drug development. This could be pivotal in improving the outcomes of patients with chronic medical conditions.

Mobile Health Tools Improve Patient Engagement

It seems that both mHealth applications and patient portals play a role in better engaging the user in tracking and improving their overall health and wellness. EHRIntelligence.com reported on a Deloitte study showing that mobile technology use is growing among consumers within the healthcare space.

Additionally, the use of mobile health devices and applications allows patients to keep in touch with their primary care provider much more efficiently than in the past. The results illustrate that 48 percent of polled patients are in favor of actively engaging with their doctors.

“Although an increase in consumer engagement is evident, the change is taking place slowly,” the study authors wrote in the report. “The pace could pick up if health plans, providers, life sciences companies, and other stakeholders take advantage of opportunities to increase engagement by accelerating development of online resources that provide the trusted, accurate, and easy-to-understand information consumers want and the types of health technologies consumers find most useful.”  

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