As evidence mounts confirming the strong link between more involved patients and improved outcomes, patient engagement is emerging as a priority in the health care community, according to a CDW survey.
The CDW report, which surveyed 200 patients and 200 health care providers to explore patient engagement from both perspectives and to better understand how needs, challenges and motivators differ between the two groups, found that 57 percent of patients have become more engaged with their health care during the past two years.
The survey also indicated providers are preparing for action and have more resources for engaging with patients at their disposal than ever before, with more than two-thirds (67 percent) of providers working on ways to make personal health care records easier to access.
In addition, more than a quarter (28 percent) of providers say that they either provide or plan to provide the ability to merge the information stored on mobile devices or wearable technologies to the online patient portal they offer.
Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of patients say greater access to healthcare information would help them take a more active role in their health care, while 60 percent of providers believe that providing patients with greater online access to their personal health care information would improve their quality of care.
The survey results also indicated that both groups agree on the best tools for increasing engagement levels, including Web-based access to healthcare information and online patient portals.
However, providers see significantly greater value in mobile applications than patients, while patients see significantly greater value in online chat capabilities than providers.
While 60 percent of providers say improving patient engagement is a top priority at their organization, patients see things somewhat differently – only 35 percent said they have noticed their providers becoming more engaged with them.
Patients ranked greater communication with their health care provider (50 percent) as being just as influential as a life event (50 percent) in motivating them to become more engaged with their health care.
The survey also indicted that roadblocks to engagement remain, with 65 percent of patients saying they face challenges when trying to engage with their health care providers Those patients aged 18-49 are 19 percent more likely to say they face challenges when trying to engage with their health care than those above age 50.
Overall, 78 percent of patients said they would like to be able to more easily access their personal health care records, with nearly half (48 percent) saying one of the top benefits would be more self-knowledge about their medical information and history.