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.