Patient engagement is emerging as a priority in the healthcare community, according to new research from CDW Healthcare in which the Vernon Hills, Ill.-based company takes a closer look at what the patient engagement future holds for both patients and providers.
As evidence mounts confirming the strong link between more involved patients and improved outcomes, patient engagement is emerging as a priority in the healthcare community. The U.S. healthcare system’s shift to a pay-for-performance model is another driving force behind this important trend, the researchers note. The CDW Healthcare Patient Engagement Perspectives report surveyed 200 patients and 200 healthcare providers to explore patient engagement from both perspectives to better understand how needs, challenges and motivators differ between the two groups.
The report’s key finding was that patients and providers are eager for more engagement. Specifically:
- 57 percent of patients say they have become more engaged with their healthcare during the past two years
- 70 percent of providers report seeing a change in their patients’ level of engagement with their own healthcare
- While 60 percent of providers say improving patient engagement is a top priority at their organization, patients see things somewhat differently—only 35 percent said they have noticed their providers becoming more engaged with them
- Communication is a critical element of expanding patient engagement: patients rank greater communication with their healthcare provider (50 percent) as being just as influential as a life event (50 percent) in motivating them to become more engaged with their healthcare
What’s more, patients and providers view technology as a path forward:
- 74 percent of patients say greater access to healthcare information would help them take a more active role in their healthcare
- 60 percent of providers believe that providing patients with greater online access to their personal healthcare information would improve their quality of care
- Both groups also agree on the best tools for increasing engagement levels—Web-based access to healthcare information and online patient portals
Additionally, providers are preparing for action and have more resources for engaging with patients at their disposal than ever before:
- 67 percent of providers are working on a way to make personal healthcare records easier to access
- 28 percent of providers say that they either provide or plan to provide the ability to merge the information stored on mobile devices or wearable technologies to the online patient portal they offer
“Expanding patient engagement is a top priority for the healthcare community—as it is directly linked to care outcomes—and technology plays a vital role,” Bob Rossi, vice president, CDW Healthcare, said in a statement. “These insights will help us better understand common ground and differences of patient engagement between both patients and providers, enabling us to deliver the solutions and services that help providers transform the patient experience, improve outcomes and reduce the cost of care.”