The world of healthcare is full of new technology that provides unparalleled insight into patients, diseases, and treatment options. Because of this visibility we have learned that engaging patients in their health is one tactic that leads to better outcomes. As technology advances, there are a number of opportunities to get patients to feel more connected to their health.
But with all of these apps, computer programs, and wearable gadgets, we might be forgetting about the simple ways to involve patients in their health.
Leana Wen, an attending physician and the director of patient-centered care research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University, writes about doctors sharing their notes with patients.
Wen explores what happens when a program called OpenNotes was implemented: “After the first year, the results were striking: 80 percent of patients who saw their records reported better understanding of their medical condition and said they were in better control of their health. Two-thirds reported that they were better at sticking with their prescriptions.”
For hospitals that are not sure where to start when it comes to patient engagement, simply showing patients their notes is a great first step. This is something that opens patient and provider dialogue which in turn fosters trust and satisfaction.
It’s important to remember there are many options for engaging patients. Patient engagement can be as simple as open communication or as intricate as remote patient monitoring. The variety of tactics means that hospitals can tailor their programs to their specific populations’ needs.