The Playbook for Patient Engagement

By: | Tags: , , | March 20th, 2015

As talked about as patient engagement is today, there is still plenty of confusion around how to maximize it. Enterprise solutions such as EHRs and revenue cycle management streamline the healthcare process therefore simplifying the patient’s experience, and with telehealth, mobile and wearable devices, patients can experience a more personalized experience. My son uses his mobile phone and a QR code to buy coffee, why not also use the same technology to check-in at his doctor’s office?


As the quarterbacks of care, doctors have a unique advantage in the age of mobility – patients want to engage in their health and post daily updates on their activity. A study conducted by research firm Kelton and Makovsky Health found that 66 percent of Americans would use a mobile app to manage health related issues if it was made available to them. It’s up to providers and vendors to develop the tools to enable these active patients with the correct tools and resources for tracking their health.


Imagine if mobile apps and wearable devices all linked back to a personal health record that could be viewed by a doctor? Doctors would have access to yearly information –vitals, change in weight, etc. – as well as daily information – calorie intake, exercise and prescriptions. It’s this routine information that can aid doctors in personalizing treatment for each patient they see.


Additionally, that constant communication with doctors opens up the opportunity for improved response treatment. Using mobile apps that integrate EHR systems, doctors can set up personalized alerts that flag unusual activity in their patient’s health. Should weight begin fluctuating at a dangerous rate or glucose levels get too high, the direct line of communication allows doctors to address issues immediately before the patient is at risk. If you are on a plane and have a medical concern, use an app to notify your doctor and, if needed, a prescription can be waiting when you land.


Mobile devices can also help patients stay on track. Similar to how doctors are informed of any drastic changes, patients can also set up reminders to take medicine or book an appointment. From there, they can even reserve an appointment online where previously they would have had to call the practice. Telehealth visits enable patients to access their doctors via their mobile phones, helping them immediately address medical concerns. Eliminating the hassle from a patient’s medical experience only makes them more apt to participate and engage in their health.


Ultimately, the key to patient engagement is patient control with the quarterback of care, the doctor, in the loop. When patients feel empowered to change and monitor their health, they’re likely to utilize that ability to maintain healthier lifestyles. Technology is an asset that can collect personal medical information across devices and electronic health records. Today, it’s possible for patients and doctors to have immediate access to all relevant information. Developing and perfecting this technology for simplified adoption relies on provider support.