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Redefining Patient Engagement in the Covid Era!

Apr 6, 2021

Clinical care is just one step along the path to helping a patient achieve an optimal state of health. While advanced procedures and therapeutics play a critical role in treating diseases, they typically can’t provide the best possible outcomes on their own, as growing evidence shows a strong link between more involved patients and improved outcomes.

Patients must be engaged in their care for clinical services to be truly effective. Now more than ever, patient engagement has become a major topic of discussion in the healthcare community, given the consequences of the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic. It’s no surprise that patients who actively participate in their healthcare are likely to have better medical outcomes.

Patient Engagement: Why it is important?

Patient engagement represents how patients and caregivers communicate to make informed healthcare decisions on the patient’s behalf. Ultimately, the onus is on patients to make the decision based on the provided healthcare information. It is observed that patients who take an active role in their healthcare and utilize the services provided by caregivers to the utmost are said to be highly engaged patients.

Accountability for outcomes in healthcare is a shared responsibility between providers, patients, policymakers, and the government. Traditionally, healthcare models have been provider-centric rather than patient-centered. But as healthcare systems are realizing the critical role patients play in their care, this has started changing.

Rethinking Patient Engagement!

This new COVID-19 environment will be with us for the foreseeable future, and hence it becomes even more important to think about measures to ensure patients of all ages feel safe to return to healthcare. Patients need to know what caregivers are doing to keep patients and their families safe. In doing so, it is important to take a fresh look at patient engagement and how it will change the patient experience in healthcare.

Patients today are looking for tools that are easy-to-use to help them meet their health needs. As a result, healthcare systems are focusing on technologies that help patients monitor their health, receive text messages, or schedule appointments online. Patient’s engagement with digital technology might reduce the burden on doctors and nurses, allowing them to spend more time with patients.

Patient Engagement Tools: Lightening the Load on Care Teams!

Patient Engagement tools offer the potential to drive desired outcomes like improved health outcomes, patient satisfaction, cut down costs, and increased efficiency. Telehealth, Appointment Reminders, Patient Portal and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) are some of the tools that hospital systems should have when it comes to patient engagement.

Clinicians are focusing on patient engagement tools that improve doctor-patient communication. Organizations that revive their functioning and embrace automated engagement solutions are likely to have healthier, more satisfied patients.

KMG understands the power of RPM & PGMD (Patient Generated Medical Data) and their ability to improve the quality of care provided to the Patients. Hence, we focus on building Patient Engagement Solutions that include Mobile Apps, and Patient Portals. It is a fact that patient-focused mobile apps & portals make patients more involved in their treatment plans, thus decreasing medication errors and increasing compliance to treatment plans dramatically.

Systems developed by KMG for its clients include Mobile Apps to Enforce & Monitor Medication Adherence and to overlay the Patient Health Data collected through IoT/Bluetooth devices with the EMR data to present a better picture to the Providers.

An understanding of FHIR on SMART / HL7 / APIs from AllScripts & Cerner enables KMG to ensure the Patient Engagement Solutions can communicate with the Hospital Systems.

Patient Engagement Strategies

Increasing patient involvement in their care will be key for ensuring positive health outcomes. For those wondering how to increase patient engagement, here are a few strategies.

  1. Choose a patient group: Identify a chronic disease that’s common within your patient population, e.g. diabetes, obesity, arthritis, or anxiety. You can also target patients with multiple chronic conditions. Now, select a patient group and explain what you’re doing, and describe how they’ll benefit.
  2. Choose a care team group: Choose the clinicians, maybe one or more multidisciplinary teams who will be accountable for the success of your program. The initial care team group will learn and eventually teach everyone else how to improve patient engagement.
  3. Provide user-friendly patient communication software: A single, easy-to-use patient engagement solution must be provided to both your patients and their designated care team for effective communication that can meet your patient engagement needs. Once your program starts to run smoothly, expand to another group of patients and clinicians.

As patients are more connected now via smartphones, patient engagement is quickly becoming the future of medicine, largely by necessity. It’s up to medical practitioners to choose the best way to engage with their patients.

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