Increasing patient engagement is a common mission in any healthcare practice in 2018. Getting a patient to pay close attention to their personal health and stay active in the maintenance of it is one of the most important things a provider can do.
Patients who are more involved in their personal care are healthier overall compared to patients who are not. They stay on top of regular tests and screenings, they ask questions more often, and they address concerns without hesitation making patient engagement a crucial part of any practice. With that being said, what is the future of patient engagement and what does it look like in 2019?
The Future of Patient Engagement
The underlying goal of patient engagement has remained constant, get patients involved in their personal care. While this stays the same, the tools providers use and the methods to which they accomplish this are constantly evolving over time. In recent years, the dependence on technology has irreversibly changed the way providers deliver care and how patients access it. Most of the tools in 2019 include utilizing technology to reach patients where they are at.
One of the most recent and innovative tools that providers and patients are using today is telehealth. Telehealth is the use of telecommunication technology to reach patients in replacement of in-person communication and visits. More and more individuals are utilizing telehealth to communicate with their providers to follow up on previous visits, follow up on health questions and care plans and get to a doctor more quickly.
Telehealth allows increasing patient engagement for patients trapped in a primary care desert. Now patients who live too far away from a physician to visit with them regularly have access to one from their computer or mobile device. This ability to meet with physicians wherever they are is helping to increase patient engagement for individuals like never before.
2) Vital Tracking/Analysis
The next tool that is in the future of patient engagement is vital tracking and analysis. Due to the invention of the patient portal, patients have access to information and communication that was previously unavailable to them. In the past, personal health records were hard to access, leaving patients in the dark when it came to their vitals as well as tests & labs. The patient portal makes it possible for patients to log on and check these things with ease, helping them stay informed on their personal health and increase patient engagement. Having the information in front of them helps patients to see exactly what is happening with their personal health.
3) Chronic Care Management
In 2019, healthcare will see even more growth in chronic care management. Introduced in 2015, CCM has continued to grow into a tool that helps providers offer better care to their patients battling chronic illnesses. The biggest difference is seen in the senior population, which is where the highest number of individuals suffer from multiple chronic conditions. Care coordination through CCM services helps to keep this population more involved in their personal care and improve their health outcomes. The growth of chronic care management in 2019 will improve patients’ lives by increasing patient engagement.
4) Remote Monitoring
Lastly, the future of patient engagement includes remote monitoring. Introduced in recent years, providers are better able to track patient vitals by syncing with devices that the patient uses at home. For example, a patient who remotely monitors their blood pressure gives their providers access to that blood pressure monitor so that the provider can better track and assess that information for their care plan. This helps to increase patient engagement by making sure patients who are high risk are getting the best care possible and tracking their vitals regularly. Also, the additional information helps providers make better care decisions, improving the overall care that a patient receives.
Telehealth, vital tracking/analysis, chronic care management, and remote monitoring are only 4 of the tools that are included in patient engagement in 2019. The developments of new technology and communication will continually change how patients stay active in their care, forever improving the health outcomes for patients across the United States.
Interested in integrating technology like telehealth or chronic care management in your practice? Find out more about these services from iSalus by speaking with one of our Product Specialists or request a free demo.