The role of patient engagement in health care

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Patient engagement is a slippery slope in today's health care space. The responsibility for empowering patients does not rest squarely on the shoulders of providers, patients or even technology, but rather on a mix of all three to produce better health outcomes. Patient engagement comes at an evolving time in health care -- a time when federal regulations and incentives are on the minds of caregivers and patients who want more access to their personal health information. To that end, it's fair to suggest that the goal of patient engagement is clearly established, but the road to reach that goal remains unpaved.

This SearchHealthIT guide looks at how patient engagement is progressing in health care, particularly how health IT is enabling patients to be more involved in their care while providers seek to encourage them to take an active role.

Table of contents:

Patient engagement from the ONC's perspective

U.S. health IT coordinator Farzad Mostashari, M.D. has spoken extensively about patient engagement, honing in on meaningful use stage 2 and patient data access. This section looks at Mostashari's vision for patient engagement and how it fits into federal health IT initiatives.

Portals arrive on the patient engagement scene

Patient portals offer a platform for providers and patients to communicate privately and securely. For patients, portals deliver a medium to become more active in their care, allowing them to view test results, pay bills, check appointment times, manage prescriptions and more. While portals can be beneficial, there are challenges to take into consideration as well, such as how to maintain security, privacy and ease of use. Learn all the pros and cons of patient portals in this section.

More patient engagement resources

This section offers more information and resources on patient engagement in today's health care space.

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