How to Improve Patient Engagement?
Our population is ageing, and with this comes an increase in complex chronic medical conditions. The treatment of these illnesses differs to that of acute, requiring long-term behavioural changes to bring about meaningful health outcomes. Considering this, the importance of patient adherence to treatment plans is vital. The question thereby arises of how to improve patient engagement in healthcare? In this article, we discuss how to increase patient engagement using simple marketing strategies, and what this means for the patient and the wider health care community.
Speak at their level
For patients to engage in the provision of care, they must understand what that actually involves. This means assuring the patient fully understands their condition, the treatment regime prescribed and why it’s important for them to stick to it. Therefore, clinicians must not only explain medical jargon or acronyms, but tailor the depth of communication to the individual. Not all patients are the same, some understand less, some more, so adapting the information you provide to the individual is a necessity.
Set Goals Together
Healthcare by nature is a service, and as with any service it demands the participation of both the provider and the user. Patients are more likely to stick to a treatment plan if they themselves help co-create it. This marks a trends towards a more patient-centric model of care, where the patient is recognised as an integral member of the healthcare team.
The Importance of Family and Friends
It can be a lonely experience as a patient, especially when unsure of the likely Health outcome. By encouraging the patient to involve their friends and family in their treatment, the support they receive helps remove feelings of loneliness or fear. A ‘bury my head in the sand’ mentality can overcome many patients, but a strong support network can help assure they continue to engage in their treatment.
Digital Health Technology
Medical communication technology enables dialogue and interaction between the patient and Doctor to go beyond the walls of the clinic. For the treatment of chronic disease, long-term behavioural changes are needed to bring about improved health outcomes. Digital health technology can provide further support and information to allow the patient to better engage in the provision of care outside the hospital environment.
For more information on patient engagement, read our article on Value Co-Creation in Healthcare
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