Anyone working in healthcare knows the value of patients who are engaged in their own care. The vast majority of healthcare organizations have strategies in place to increase patient engagement. That’s because these patients provide more information to their doctors, feel more confident navigating the healthcare system and have more knowledge of how to handle their health conditions. High levels of engagement tend to lead to better health outcomes, lower healthcare costs, and greater patient satisfaction. It also leads to profitability. A recent Accenture study shows that hospitals that deliver a superior patient experience see 50 percent higher margins.
Healthcare providers have been turning to technology to improve patient engagement with notable success so far. These technologies include tools like patient portals, sensors, wearables, screens and mobile devices in exam rooms, and telemonitoring. Many of these tools engage patients in clinics and facilitate better health conversations. Others, such as in-home monitoring tools keep patients connected, allowing them to keep tabs on their health at the same time doctors do. Let’s look more closely at some technology initiatives paving the way for higher patient engagement in healthcare.
Intel Partnerships Enable Patient Engagement
At Intel, we’re involved in a number of partnerships helping to increase patient engagement. Our projects aim to improve patient involvement in the exam room, but also throughout the healthcare process, even after patients have gone home.
We’ve developed mobile devices for clinical workflows with Ergotron that easily connect to larger screens to facilitate patient-provider discussions. We’ve worked with Oneview, a hospital discharge tool that includes video education, goal completion, and real-time collaboration to make the discharge process smoother. We’ve collaborated with AccuHealth on a 24-hour telemonitoring program to promote the self-management of treatment. We’ve also worked with Surgical Theater to power their VR solution that allows not only doctors and also patients to virtually walk through their surgical plan. Patients can step into their anatomy and diagnosis as they gain the deep understanding and trust needed to make complex medical decisions.
All these initiatives focus on making the process of receiving healthcare more patient-centered, as well as more provider-centered.
Leveraging Data to Improve Patient-Provider Communication
The data collected by some of these tools are also playing an important part in improving relationships between providers and their patients. For healthcare to be effective, patients need to trust their doctors. Data can jumpstart healthcare conversations.
Here’s how that works: Simple, technology-based solutions collect patient-reported outcomes (PROs). This information is processed and interpreted. Doctors can then use these insights to prompt discussions with patients. This means providers enter the exam room more prepared, and patients feel their doctors understand what’s been going on with their health since their last visit.
These straightforward, easy-to-use technologies also make patients more likely to report information in the first place, since when technology tools are easy to use, patients are more likely to use them.
Simplicity Is Key in Healthcare Interactions
Those of us in the health and life sciences industry want people to experience healthcare that’s as positive and as stress-free as possible. It would be great if going to the doctor and getting the treatment you need was as easy as taking a trip to the store. We want patient healthcare experiences to feel familiar, personal, and effective. To get there, better patient engagement and patient-provider relationships are essential.