Patient engagement in a tech savvy world

We live in an increasingly connected world where technology is changing the way we live and interact with each other. Technological advancements like smartphones and tablets have made it easy for individuals to browse news and information regularly on the web. Now at the click of a button, patients can even access information to make decisions about their own health.

Patients are looking to break down barriers between themselves and health care providers. Health care providers are now more than ever working together with their patients to discuss care options and make shared decisions. Caregivers like families and friends are also joining in on the decision-making process. Patients are embracing this change which means that the health care system is having to adjust accordingly.

Patient engagement has been identified as the missing link towards the successful care model of the future. Emerging research suggests that patients engaged in their care have better health outcomes and positive experiences. Patient engagement begins at the time of admission and registration when a wearable is fastened to the wrist. Too often the attaching of the wearable is performed as a task solely for the purpose of patient safety. But it can be so much more. Adopting technologies like a wearable can address barriers to patient engagement by connecting patients to healthcare providers quickly and efficiently. Patient engagement works most effectively when the patient has a voice in the equation and that voice is being heard. Patients offer valuable insights into their experiences and interactions with the health care system. They can also discuss the impact of services offered and whether they feel empowered to take control of their own health.

Limited resources, better informed patients, more integrated health care teams, and advanced technologies are resulting in the need for stronger patient engagement. Organizations are prioritizing patient engagement not only to improve health outcomes but also to reduce costs. Engaged patients are more likely to adopt preventive practices like immunization and screening and those with chronic conditions are more inclined to take prescribed medications and monitor their own health. This often results in the detection of disease earlier when it is easier to treat, and fewer complications and admissions into the hospital. These patients often encourage others in their community to engage in their own health care as well. Patient engagement also means reaching out to vulnerable populations who often face higher rates of chronic disease, and morbidity and mortality. By increasing patient engagement, organizations are already starting to work with vulnerable populations to make decisions that address their complex health care needs.

We’re already seeing patients and health care providers make valuable health decisions together. Furthermore, organizations are committed to finding new ways of engaging patients in a meaningful way. Living in a tech savvy world means that it is now much easier to adopt technologies that ensure the patient’s voice is consistently heard. By leveraging technologies like wearables organizations will be more empowered to connect with their patients resulting in better health outcomes, improved patient experiences and reduced costs.