What does patient engagement really mean?

August 24, 2022
Categories: Home health, Hospice, Palliative care
Reading Time: 2 minutes

We’ve all heard the phrase patient engagement. It’s abuzz in the home care industry, with organizations transforming entire strategies to better engage patients and their families. But what is it exactly and why is it important in our industry today?

While many think patient engagement is simply having the ability to text with patients or their family caregivers, that’s an undersell of what it truly is—or what it has the potential to be and do for home-based care organizations.

Patient engagement is simplified authorization.

When the power of attorney (POA) is not near the patient, but they need to authorize care, engaging them should be easy. Likewise, organizations shouldn’t rely on manual methods of communication when obtaining provider signatures. In an instant, care teams should be able to electronically send a form, POAs or providers should be able to sign it in real-time, and then it should be easily sent back to the care team and integrated with the system of record.

Patient engagement is on-demand education.

Teaching patients and caregivers how to use equipment, how to manage care between visits, and detailed information about diagnoses, drugs, and more no longer require care teams to make in-person visits. Instead, education materials are on demand, empowering patients and caregivers with 24/7 access to the knowledge needed to manage their care.

Patient engagement is less calling, and more collaboration.

When it comes to coordinating services—medical equipment deliveries, medication refills, scheduling home visits, and more—an all-in-one platform can help eliminate the need for phone calls, which means less playing phone tag and more engagement with patients and their loved ones.

Patient engagement is a population health model.

By proactively engaging and gathering information from patients, organizations can step in when needed to provide better care. This is especially important during the staffing shortage when many providers don’t have the bandwidth to manage all patients at once. Engagement tools give care teams an effective way to take care of patients.

Patient engagement is a bidirectional information exchange.

Digital tools in home-based care are typically one-way communication. But when patients and their families have an open line of communication with their care teams, they can voice concerns, and providers can then utilize available resources, escalate that need to the right person who can quickly help, and ultimately leave them with a satisfying experience. Simply put, it’s a feeling of security for patients and their families that someone’s there.

Patient engagement is an ecosystem of communication.

Beyond just texting, patient engagement creates an ecosystem that allows organizations to operate effectively with patients, providers, and family members to ultimately provide better care. From electronic signature capture and video chatting to customized forms and on-demand education, there’s more than one way to communicate, capture data, and collaborate for everyone in the care journey.

While patient engagement is often thought of as a singular tool like text messaging or electronic signatures, it’s a much bigger sphere. The more you can include in this ecosystem, the more beneficial it is for the patient.

Are you ready to incorporate true patient engagement into your organization? Do you want to learn how our innovative technology is a game changer for patient and caregiver satisfaction, work-life balance among staff, and higher-quality care for patients?

Schedule a demo today.

Rob Stoltz
Rob Stoltz

Rob Stoltz, Sr Dir, Business Development Home and Hospice. A long time veteran in the home-based healthcare IT industry with deep experience in EMRs, care transitions, patient engagement, predictive analytics and interoperability. Most recently, Rob has been focused on technology partnerships leveraging interoperability to benefit all stakeholders involved with patient care while enhancing provider efficiency through effective workflows.

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