What is Patient Engagement?

Jul 7, 2016 | Patient Engagement

Patient engagement has been the talk of the hospital for a while now. Healthcare providers are realizing the importance of engaging patients as well as including them in every aspect of the care process.

But what exactly is patient engagement? There are many different interpretations. One great definition of patient engagement is this:

” The process by which patients become invested in their own health, so they can make well-informed decisions about their health and care. “


With this we mean the need for a change in the patient’s role. They used to be the passive subject, now they should be an active participating team member.

Folcrom Medical Hospital Arms are About Enabling Engagement

Folcrom and our arms is all about help engagement by enabling equipment or devices to easily move into a comfortable position where users can use them. Instead of making sick or injured people have to get up to go use a device elsewhere, or make them hold a device in their hands, our medical hospital arms will do that for them. With a gentle pull, the patient can adjust the position of the arm to where they are comfortable and enable them to access information, entertainment or communication.

Examples of Patient Engagement

So what do our partners put at the end of our arms to drive patient engagement? To give you an idea of what patient engagement could mean for your hospital, take a look at these examples:

Shared Decision Making

It was not that long ago when patients were simply informed about their condition and the course of treatment. It was more or less one way communication.

Patient engagement focuses on involving patients in all aspects of their health. This means staying healthy and becoming healthy. When patients feel included in crucial healthcare decisions, they are more like to put in the effort.

Patients who are fully aware when they make a decision together with their doctor and know what is asked of them also tend to make better lifestyle choices to support their recovery and general health.

Communication via EHR

New EHR technologies make accessing health records easier for patients. Having access to their own health information and being informed helps them communicate with healthcare providers.

Knowledge is power and knowing about their own health helps patients stay in control in an often insecure situation. EHR systems are not just there for doctors and nurses. They are there to be a centralized connection between doctors, nurses, the hospital and the patients. EHRs provide every stakeholder with critical information, keeping everyone on the same page – including the patient.

Patient Portal Access

A patient portal is key to further support better communication between patients and healthcare providers.

We all love when different services are combined in one system, giving us access through one single password. Patients are no different. Making a patient’s life easier by offering them the possibility to make follow-up appointments, pay bills or find critical information is an essential part of patient engagement. If something is hard to do you are less likely to put in the effort and become involved.

The easier it is for patients to take control of their health and become involved, the more likely they will become involved. Giving patients the tools to make their lives easier is a leading example of patient engagement.

User-generated Data, Tracking & Logging

One thing healthcare providers should realize in combination with patient engagement is the value patients can actually offer them. We live in a world where there is an app for absolutely everything.

Wearable devices like the FitBit and iWatch stand at the center – they provide hospitals with high valuable patient-generated data. Patients are tracking everything and keeping score too. How far have I run? How many calories did I burn and how many calories did I eat? Many people nowadays will even go so far as to track their sleep pattern and use medical wearable devices to measure their blood pressure.

The tracking and logging of health data by patients can be of great advantage to hospitals. Wouldn’t it be great if patients could hand over crucial information before their appointment? Think about the time and money that gets saved by patients taking care of this part of the care process.

Patient-generated healthcare data is not just valuable to the patient and hospital, but to the whole community as well. All this data can be used to locate trends and predict and prevent health issues in specific regions and countries.

Patient engagement is not just of great use for the patient or hospital, but for everyone around them!

Education Content

We have already established that knowledge is a great part of patient engagement. Would you feel comfortable making an important life changing decision if you didn’t know all the pros and cons? It would make you feel unsure and not as committed as you would like to be.

Patients are the same way. Knowing what you are deciding for or against helps you commit to your decision. Patient education is a large part of patient engagement. Educational content can inform patients about their condition, their options and their treatment.

Great patient education is engaging and will support patients in all stages of their care process. From information about their health condition to exercises and tips to support fast recovery.

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