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Patient involvement in care needs a nudge from technology
This article is part of the Pulse issue of March 2017, Vol. 5 No. 2
In today's world, efforts to boost patient involvement in medical care are hit and miss. On one hand, online patient portals have improved rapidly. It's also possible to email and possibly even text your physician (although beware of what is texted). And retail pharmacies are trying hard to understand the medical needs of their customers in the hopes of getting more frequent, non-urgent visits from patients. On the flip side, things ain't perfect. My employer offers an 800 number for telemedicine consults, and I waited two hours for a call back only to hear that a doctor still wasn't available. I decided to move on to an online search at that point on ways to treat a minor burn (MayoClinic.org is my favorite go-to for informal medical info). Health IT tries to catch up From the broken-record cabinet comes the observation that healthcare often lags behind other industries when it comes to technology -- in this case, software that enhances patient involvement in care. Retail has been strongly behind customer relationship ...
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Features in this issue
Patients are acting more like consumers and therefore have higher expectations of their healthcare providers. New technologies are needed to truly engage them.
With the advent of value-based care, patient engagement is becoming increasingly important to keep patients as long-term customers and get them involved in their own treatment.
Columns in this issue
Perhaps it's been overstated that healthcare trails other industries when it comes to adopting software, but patient engagement offers a worthy way for hospitals to catch up.
Patient engagement tools, such as virtual assistants and health apps, can help healthcare providers improve the physician-patient relationship and improve outcomes.