Do Gen Xers and Millennials hold the key to success for the Affordable Care Act?

Do Gen Xers and Millennials hold the key to success for the Affordable Care Act? If they do, the healthcare community needs to real time data key words in Googlechange its approach to patient engagement.

InCrowd has been participating in Pathways to Patient Engagement, a webinar series organized by KC Health. Over the last couple of months we have been asking our Crowd of patients and healthcare professionals to share their feedback on the current state of patient engagement. A few of the major highlights include…

  • A notable gap between physician and health consumer reported patient engagement activities currently in use
  • As an industry, we are a long way off from ‘true’ patient engagement
  • Barriers between the health consumer, their data and access to their health care team need to be removed
  • Social, mobile and online access are a ‘must’ if the healthcare community expects to engage younger health consumers

The news media and online healthcare discussions have positioned the younger health consumer as a critical piece to the overall success of the Affordable Care Act. Indicating that the younger health consumer must sign up and be part of the program to help manage the overall costs. While our survey did not specifically ask about the ACA, we did get feedback from those under the age of 50 on patient engagement and their involvement in the current healthcare system.

You can view the health consumer feedback from Gen Xers and Millennials here: Patient Engagement: Health Consumer Insights from Gen Xers and Millennials.

Is it time to take patient engagement beyond a few web-based tools that are mandated by Meaningful Use legislation? If the healthcare community truly wants to include Gen Xers and Millennials, not to mention the digital native demographic that will soon include everyone, things will have to change. Mobile and social can’t simply be buzzwords, scheduling appointments online won’t be considered patient engagement and online healthcare interaction will be the norm.

To get more detail, watch the most recent webinar Pathways to Patient Engagement: Health Consumer Insights highlighting feedback from 330 US health consumers – all under the age of 50. You can also watch the initial webinar Pathways to Patient Engagement: Insights from the Physician Community outlining feedback from 300 US based primary care physicians.

What are your thoughts on including younger health consumers in the healthcare process? Are we on the right path? Do we need to change course and adopt a new way of providing care and interacting with health consumers?

This post originally appeared on CROWDTalk.

Patient Engagement, It Takes a Village

The term patient engagement gets a lot of press these days. In fact I just did a quick search and in less than 60 seconds Google returned 47,200,000 results. That’s a lot of buzz but does it reflect the real state of the union? What is actually happening in the area of patient engagement?

As partner in the webinar series Pathways to Patient Engagement we’ve been querying our Crowd of healthcare professionals to better understand the current state of patient engagement. For the initial webinar Pathways to Patient Engagement: Insights from the Physician Community we asked 300 US based primary care physicians about their patient engagement activities, the results were surprising to say the least.

  • 40% of the surveyed PCPs participate in NO patient engagement activities
  • 17% indicated they were not familiar with the term
  • 13% feel the results of patient engagement are not worth the effort

We started with PCPs because they’re the gateway to healthcare for many people. The PCP is typically the first physician seen when a person gets sick or needs a test and they become the gatekeeper to other specialties. It stands to reason that this would be an important starting point for patient engagement activities.

You can view the complete results here:

So where do we go from here? Do we wait for electronic health records and the meaningful use initiative to slowly push physicians toward patient engagement activities? Is it realistic to place sole responsibly on the shoulders of the physician community?

Patient engagement is a broad term with a less than clear definition, encompassing many aspects of care. To truly meet the needs of the healthcare consumer all stakeholders involved in the care process will need to work together. It’s going to take a village to make patient engagement a meaningful exchange that benefits not just the healthcare consumer but also the healthcare community.

The Pathways to Patient Engagement webinar series is designed to foster collaboration and discussion between all involved in the healthcare process. The goal is to bring the village together, begin to identify the gaps and opportunities and find solutions.

The next webinar in the series, Pathways to Patient Engagement: Health Consumer Insights is scheduled for Tuesday December 10th at 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST. Please join us as we reach out to Gen X and Millennial health consumers to get their feedback on patient engagement. We’ll compare their data to the PCP data, get their definition of patient engagement and learn what activities and tools they feel would be most helpful. You can register here for the upcoming webinar.

What do you think of the PCP findings on patient engagement? Were they surprising? How closely do you think the health consumer insights will align with the PCPs?

Drop us a line, let us know what you think about patient engagement.

This post originally appeared on CROWDTalk.