50 Shades of Engagement
I recently met a gentlemen who is offering an amazing new travel service that focuses on supporting good health habits when we travel for business or leisure. His service really struck a cord with me and is one I hope to try out on my next trip. Reading his most recent blog on corporate wellness, it really got me thinking…
When it comes to patient engagement, studies repeatedly show that it improves health outcomes and can meaningfully reduce costs. But talk to 50 different people and you are likely to find that they all describe patient engagement differently. Why? Because patient engagement is not just a “point solution”, or digital health device, app or service, texting, emailing, or even doctor-patient bedside chats. It includes all of these things – and more.
Patient engagement must be sustained over a lifetime, and in reality, we are only patients for a small part of our lives. The rest of the time we are spouses and parents; employees and employers; athletes, travelers, musicians and volunteers. For most of us, being a “patient” is simply a temporary role we play within our greater lives’ journeys. As providers, technologists, business people and patients, we will do well to remember this as we formulate engagement strategies and tools.
As we all prepare our digital health and patient engagement strategies, it’s important to be inclusive. Why not include healthy travel advice, or local gym hours, or links to patient support groups outside of your campus walls? Be it sickness or wellness, navigation, information access or data privacy and sharing preferences, to be sustainable, patient engagement must go beyond medication and appointment reminders. Engage your patients as people – on their terms and in there way. It’s really not as hard as it may seem.