Patient engagement refers to the process in which the patients actively work together with the healthcare providers to improve their health, reduce their medical costs and enhance their experiences. It is an effort where the patients work with the doctors and follow the treatment plans to achieve a better personal health goals.
If the patients voluntarily engages with the healthcare providers, it not only improves the quality of the service but also results in much fewer hospitals readmission rates and thus reduces their overall medical costs. Patients who communicate and engage with their healthcare providers on a regular basis are more likely to prevent negative health outcomes. This type of support from the patients also enhances the quality of the healthcare service.
Patients usually have a tendency to ignore the initial symptoms, rendering them as unimportant. This oftentimes result in poor health outcomes and increases readmission rates and can sometimes even lead to emergency room visits. On the other hand patient’s engagement with the healthcare provider reverses this trend as they contact their doctors the instant a symptom is present, making any health issue more easily treatable in the early stage.
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Patients who are engaged with their healthcare providers are more aware of their symptoms and are also more likely to reach out to their physicians regarding any health issues. They proactively address the red flags from the second their symptoms starts and keep communicating with their doctors to address their concerns in a timely manner until the issues are resolved.
When the patients are self-involved in their healthcare process, it means that they are no longer waiting for their health issues to reach a chronic and detrimental stage. This drastically results in a reduction of hospitals readmission rates and consequently a reduced overall medical costs. If patients visit the doctor’s office to address their health issues as early as possible, a large number of hospital readmission rate could be avoidable.
The reduced number of hospital readmission rates and medical costs are two of the major benefits of patient engagement. Patients who are engaged with their healthcare providers spend less time on repetitive treatments, as they follow through with the initial treatment plans their physicians prescribe to them which consistently improve their health from the beginning.
It has been found in a research from the 2009 Kaiser study that when the patients were actively engaged in designing their healthcare plans and carried out their everyday life accordingly the results were drastic. The research concludes that the patients in an engagement based care settings resulted in a reduction of overall mortality by 76% and cardiac mortality by 73%.
The engagement of patients with their healthcare providers also results in an improved satisfaction with the healthcare services. When the patients are more engaged with their healthcare providers it improves their trust, decreases their anxieties and make them feel more at ease.
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Engaging with the healthcare providers also inspires the patients to see their health from a different perspective, as a result they work harder to improve their healthy behaviors day in and day out. Patients who are more engaged with their healthcare providers are also more likely to follow their treatment plans and improve their health condition, making their overall healthcare service a much better experience.
Patient’s that are engaged with their healthcare providers are also more likely to meet with their doctors once a treatment plan is complete. Also, after the completion of their treatment they tend to follow up for the next steps so that they could maintain their improved health conditions. These type of preventative measures reduce hospital readmission rates, thus lowering the overall cost of healthcare that falls upon the patient, especially when compared to someone who avoids the doctor and then needs to seek emergency-based treatment and long term based treatment plan.
Therefore, we can come to the conclusion that patient engagement with the doctors and other facilitators of the healthcare service is extremely crucial. Without proper engagement from the patients there is not much the hospitals, clinics or any other form of healthcare providers can do to help them.
A lack of engagement from the patients will make it extremely difficult for the healthcare professionals to treat them properly and most likely would result in miscommunication, misunderstanding and repeated hospital admissions. Effective consultation, prescription and treatment is only possible when both the patients and the healthcare providers work together.