Choice – The Key to Knowing Your Patients through Digital Engagement
Earlier this year, I had the privilege of hearing Kyra Bobinet, MD speak at the HIMSS Media Patient Engagement Summit in Orlando. She is back on the speaking circuit, as noted in this recent mHealth News article discussing the transition providers must make relative to better engaging patients through understanding their motivations – not just sifting through piles of connected health data.
Dr. Bobinet urges a layered approach to engagement – with users as the “designers of their own experience.” While the focus of her discussion is on the “eye-to-eye” experience between patient and provider, for many health consumers, convenience is critically important to engaging in their health. So how can you uncover key health motivators (such as giving up cigarettes before the first grandchild is born, or losing 40 pounds before next year’s 20th high school reunion) with limited face time? How can you begin to “know” your patients in today’s rapidly evolving digital health environment?
When evaluating technologies to complement this eye-to-eye experience, be sure to look for a high-degree of flexibility and personalization in your patient engagement solutions. The kind that lets you start slowly, as Dr. Bobinet proposes, and then accelerate the types and frequencies of engagement based upon each patient’s needs – at that particular moment in time. It should respect and enable engagement in all it’s digital forms – making it easy for patients to choose a phone call, video chat or sending connected health data to their doctors. To only support one mode of communication is not enough to truly engage either a patient or provider, and drowning the provider in data that is not in the context of each patient, does not help them to improve outcomes and lower the cost of healthcare delivery.
Healthcare delivery is changing and the clinical, business and IT strategies to support it are changing, too. You have more control and choice than you may think when it comes to engaging your patients. Make the strategic decision to consider patient engagement technology within the context of your patients, your providers and your overall business strategies. Only then, will you have solution that can truly support improved outcomes, lower healthcare delivery costs and new digital health services for the decades to come.