This issue brief from the Institute for Health Technology Transformation contains useful guidance for health care providers and systems, and particularly hospitals, to improve their engagement with patients.  The ten short chapters are provocatively titled:

  1. Your Patients are Already Getting And Using Health Information Online – Shouldn’t They Be Getting More From You?
  2. Patients Are Looking To Connect With Others About Healthcare – Isn’t It Time For You To Enter This Dialogue In a Meaningful Way?
  3. It’s Not Just “Young People” Who Want To Engage With Your Hospital And Physicians Online – Are Your Patient Outreach Efforts Targeted Based On Solid Segmentation Research?
  4. Family Caregivers Can Improve Patient Outcomes, But Lack Access To Tools That Can Ease The Burden Of Their Work.  Are You Supporting Them Sufficiently With Your Services?
  5. Your Patients Trust You More Than Any Other Source For Their Personal Health Information.  Are You Leveraging That Trust?
  6. Your Patients Are Mobile – And Are Already Accessing And Documenting Health Information Wherever They Are.  Are You Meeting Them Where They Are?
  7. There Are Certainly Many Concerns That Come With Patient Engagement.  But, Are You Taking Advantage Of The Many Strategies And Tactics To Protect The Security Of Your Hospital And The Privacy Of Your Patients?
  8. Patient Engagement Improves Health Outcomes And It Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive.  Are You Taking Advantage Of The Variety Of Inexpensive Tools Available To You?
  9. Don’t Think Of Patient Engagement As Just Another ROI Business Case.  Are You Placing Too Many Barriers On Your Team’s Creative Patient Engagement Efforts?
  10. Changing Payment Models Means That Patient Engagement Is No Longer An “Option.” Are You Still Discussing Its Priority?
The issue brief concludes with four recommendations:
  1. “Walk the talk” on patient experience and engagement as a top priority: set specific patient engagement objectives
  2. Champion your hospital’s social media strategy: assure mobility as a key component.
  3. Include caregivers and all patient demographics in your patient engagement efforts: do not make assumptions about your audiences unless based on research
  4. Consider HIT solutions that already incorporate PHRs, PHPs, or patient portals

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