How to Leverage Digital Patient Engagement Tools to Improve Outcomes

Randi Baxter Posted on Feb 18, 2016

Home healthcare providers have an increased focus on "patient engagement", or in the words of Judith Hibbard, PhD, MPH, “an individual’s knowledge, skill, and confidence for managing their [own] health and health care.”

There is plenty of research that supports the notion that patients who are confident and who have the ability to participate in their own care, are more likely to experience better outcomes, while reducing hospital readmissions.

This is becoming increasingly important with the industry shifting to value-based and patient-centric care.

Developed at the University of Oregon, Hibbard created and tested a questionnaire to assess patient engagement and their ability to manage their personal health.

Her research with the Boston Medical Center showed that patients who are highly engaged in their healthcare services are less likely to have Emergency Department visits and readmissions within 30 days of hospital discharge.

“Patient engagement is such a hot topic right now because we're all just recognizing that we aren't going to achieve better outcomes and lower costs unless patients are part of this, and they're able to do their part. So, figuring out how to help them do their part is what we need to do,” Hibbard stated.

With the evidence linking engagement to improved self-care and better outcomes, consider how your agency is helping clients build their knowledge and confidence in their home health care.

When 72% of internet users saying they looked online for health information within the past year, leveraging digital patient engagement initiatives might be a good place to start. These are some technologies that can greatly improve connections, make information more readily available, and increase patients' confidence in their pre and post-acute care:

Patient & Family Portal

Key stakeholders, such as chosen family and friends, will have visibility and the ability to actively participate in the care of their loves ones, developing relationships and encouraging interactions.

Mobile Health

According to HIMSS Analytics, 69 percent of clinicians are already using mobile devices, such as cell phones, tablets and laptops, to access patient information. Mobile presents a new opportunity to make information readily available to your patients.

Remote Patient Monitoring

Encouraging the use of remote monitoring technology can significantly enable patient self-management.

Providers can set goals for patients and walk them through a daily routine that gets them in the habit of using monitoring devices. This applies not only to remote patient monitoring, but also to the use of wearables, allowing the user to be an active participant in their health and wellness.

Video Conferencing

Tools such as video conferencing allows remote communication with patients, and care workers can provide pre-emptive care or feedback to their patients.

No more alienating phone calls as patients can engage with their care providers as if they were in the room with them.

Digital tools can enable patients to be more confident and engaged in their care and can give providers greater capacity to keep patients in the comfort of their homes and out of the hospital.

As a leading provider of an end-to-end home care software platform, AlayaCare offers a mix of real-time telehealth and face-to-face visit solutions, including robust point of care electronic documentation, home care scheduling solutions, and next-generation technology such as integrated Family & Stakeholder PortalsVirtual Care, and Machine Learning.

With our all-in-one solution, you can ensure your patients have the tools they need to be more confident and knowledgeable in their healthcare services, increasing engagement and ultimately improving patient outcomes.



Topics: Care Worker Mobile App, Family Portal, Virtual Care