There are several factors that play into the outcome of any treatment. Patient engagement is one of the most important. There are several patient engagement strategies to consider when coming up with a patient care plan and ensuring that everyone is working towards a common goal.
Read more to learn about the importance of patient engagement to the care of your patients.
The Key Components of Patient Engagement
Effective patient engagement can be the missing piece in a positive healthcare outcome. As a healthcare provider, you are responsible for the treatment of your patient both physically and mentally. Although you may be prescribing the appropriate medications to treat your patients, you may also work alongside them to keep them engaged and interested in their own care.
Too often do we see patients with complications, increased hospitalization, and infections that could have been avoided with increased patient engagement.
There are five key components to patient engagement.
- Collaborate with your patients: A good care provider encourages patient participation.Those who feel more involved in the decision-making process of their care can have a positive impact on their health outcomes. Patient outreach is an important step of successful patient engagement strategy.
- Understand their goals: Every patient has a different goal for their healthcare. Knowing the goals and why they have them is just as important.
- Listening to the patient: Active listening and showing that you care about patient needs is a great patient engagement tool that can help patients reach better outcomes.
- Explaining the purpose of treatment and medication: A new diagnosis can be overwhelming, especially when they do not fully understand it. Health literacy and patient education regarding the treatment plan can help reduce the stress and anxiety of a new diagnosis and will fully understand the treatment plan.
- Respect and empowerment: This is the most important component, and if only one is implemented this would be the one to choose. Responding to their call and listening/ considering their feelings and opinions will help with overall engagement, patient satisfaction, and health outcomes.
Challenges in Enabling Better Patient Engagement
There are barriers to improving patient engagement that can be divided into two categories: the first is patient-related and the second is staff-related barriers.
Patient-related barriers include things such as lack of understanding of health literacy, ineffective education, patient unwillingness to learn, and cultural barriers. Each one of these barriers can be addressed by working with your patients and developing a plan that will best fit their needs and explaining it in a way that they will fully comprehend.
Staff-related barriers are those that exist when staff is not communicating effectively, has a negative attitude, and has a high workload. These barriers can be directly impacted by staffing shortages, inadequate training, and burnout. When healthcare professionals are not performing to the best of their ability it can impact the overall patient experience and have a negative impact on the care patients are receiving.
Strategies for Improving Patient Engagement in Healthcare
It is never too late to work towards improving patient engagement. When in the hospital or after receiving a new diagnosis, patients can become more depressed and uninterested in the outcome of their treatment. Here are 5 strategies that you can do to help improve this.
- Simplify the information, and present it in a way that is easy for everyone to understand. After all, most patients did not go to med school!
- Be specific, provide all of the details, answer every question, and give patients all of the information in every format.
- Let patients set their goals, and work together to meet these goals. When patients know they are working towards a common goal they are more likely to adhere to the treatment plan.
- Make the information easily accessible to your patients. Being available to answer a call or providing the information through an online patient portal allows for the patients to stay involved and educated in their care, resulting in improved outcomes.
- Communicate effectively with your patients. Answer their questions and speak to them in an effective and therapeutic way.
The Role of Patient Engagement Technology
Today we are living in the digital age and we are seeing this in all aspects of life, including patient care.
The new opportunity to virtually attend your doctor’s appointment and receive updates through an online patient portal allows for patients and their families to be more involved. As technology continues to evolve we are seeing the trend of Healthcare Anywhere taking flight. Having the ability to speak with your doctor through a message in your patient portal or on video chat allows for patients to continue living life without taking too much time out of their day to attend appointments.
Technology will continue to evolve and become a bigger part of our lives. It is only natural that this will impact every aspect of life including healthcare. Technology will connect doctors and their patients to keep everyone on the same page. Technology is a great tool to keep patients engaged throughout their health care journey.
Patient engagement is vital for a positive outcome in any treatment plan. With the perfect combination of communication and understanding the partnership between the patient and care team can be stronger than ever. With the added bonus of technology advancements, it has never been easier to keep patients and their care team.
MAS Medical Staffing pairs healthcare professionals with healthcare facilities in need of staff who understand the importance of patient engagement and the role it plays in improved health outcomes. To learn more about medical staffing solutions, check out MAS Medical Staffing now.
Tabitha Dowd: Tabitha is the Division Director for MAS Home Care. With over 15 years of leadership experience in quality assurance and performance improvement processes, regulatory interpretation, and data analysis, Tabitha comes to MAS with the knowledge and passion to provide the highest level of home care for all. When she is not working, Tabitha is training in Mixed Martial Arts and enjoying time with her husband and two daughters.