Patient engagement for healthcare providers to become key in compliance efforts
As the screws tighten and CMS looks to cut costs, healthcare providers have a responsibility to work with patients. This includes compliance with treatment plans, med adherence, and symptom management. It is clear that healthcare providers will be held responsible for patient compliance concerns. That means, complete documentation to describe the when, where, and how regarding patient engagement. Now is a good time to consider these points and the tools your organization may need to address them, such as an EHR or home care software. This post on InformationWeek HealthCare highlights how technology can help.
What’s new? Patient engagement
There is a new buzzword for healthcare providers: patient engagement. The application of this concept to relationships between patients and providers, including discharge planners, is becoming more prevalent. In 2011, the Center for Advancing Health (CFAH) published an “Engagement Behavior Framework.” Check out their recommendations below.
- Ask questions when explanations or next steps are not clear and express any concerns about recommendations or care experiences.
- Ensure that relevant medical information is conveyed between providers and institutions.
- Negotiate a treatment plan with providers.
- Learn about any newly prescribed medications and devices, including possible side effects or interactions with existing medications and devices.
- Monitor symptoms and conditions, including danger signs that require urgent attention.
- Set and act on priorities for changing behavior to optimize health and prevent disease.
- Identify and secure services that support changing behavior to maximize health.
- manage symptoms by following treatment plans, including diet and exercise.
- If diagnosed with a chronic disease, understand the condition(s), the risks and benefits of treatment options, as well as, seeking opportunities to improve health/disease knowledge.
This concept of “patient engagement” is not only increasingly important to payers but is also significant from the perspective of risk management. When patients are non-compliant or not engaged, it is difficult to separate non-compliance from poor quality of care. Providers are taking steps to get patients engaged and document that they have done so. It is the job of professionals to utilize their expertise to engage patients in a way that will likely support compliance.
Providers have a history of concerns about non-compliance or non-adherence by patients. Because providers tend to complain that patients are non-compliant. It is clear that a different “wind” is starting to blow now. Providers must prepare to take on more responsibility for patient engagement, including involvement in all of the activities described above and more.