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What is the Key to Improving Patient Engagement?

October 17, 2018 BY Colin Madigan, Director of Client Engagement

What is the Key to Improving Patient Engagement?

*updated October 2019

Healthcare is not a one-size-fits-all treatment plan. 

Care delivery is evolving as providers emphasize collaboration with patients to improve care outcomes. Patients are increasingly educated and invested in their own care and, because of this, are less willing to take what a physician says at face value. Instead, care is seen as a partnership where providers and patients make joint decisions that take lifestyle choices and personal concerns into consideration. This emphasis on patient engagement is leading healthcare experts to find the best ways to ensure long-term investment from patients.

Facilities and providers are using Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) satisfaction surveys to assess how well patients feel they are being served by specific providers. Measures like these could help foster greater trust between patients and providers—increasing the likelihood that a patient will adhere to their given treatment plan.

Technology and stronger patient engagement

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) value-based reimbursement model rewards hospitals and care facilities based on patient health outcomes. This model incentivizes providers to deliver comprehensive care in a cost-effective way, while keeping patients at the center of their own care. If healthcare becomes too costly or inconvenient, patients might struggle to follow physician recommendations.

Interoperability is one way providers are enhancing patient access to critical information—from physician details to their own personal healthcare histories. Patients can review their medical records, ask questions, and schedule appointments through online patient portals, which are integrated with facility electronic health record (EHR) systems. Making health and treatment information available all in one place empowers patients to take control of their own wellness long after they leave the examination room. Providers can also leverage this information for individual case management, as well as for analyzing population health trends in the surrounding community.

Top 5 Inpatient EHR Vendor Market Share 

Fig 1 Data from Definitive Healthcare’s comprehensive DHC Visuals platform on EHR vendor market share, including intelligence covering over 8,800 hospitals and IDNs in the U.S. 

Leveraging the pharmacy for patient health

Pharmaceutical costs are rising across the U.S., reducing patient access to necessary medications. Unaffordable prescription drug prices are leading patients to take doses lower than recommended by physicians, and in some cases are preventing patients from filling prescriptions at all. Patients often don't alert physicians when they can't afford their medications, which can result in additional health risks that physicians are not aware of. Industry leaders believe pharmacists could help alleviate this issue.

Pharmacists work with hundreds of patients every day and can notify physicians when patients can't or don't pick up or refill prescriptions on time. Partnerships with pharmacists can help physicians identify which patients are at risk due to lack of access to necessary medication. In addition, pharmacists can reinforce the importance of adhering to a prescription regimen to manage chronic illness or disease. 

Care providers and industry leaders are debating the impacts of pharmacists, care connectivity, and community on patient health to determine the best ways to improve care delivery and clinical outcomes. 

Top 10 Hospitals Affiliated with a Specialty Pharmacy by # of Staffed Beds

Rank Hospital Name Definitive ID Readmission Rate # of Staffed Beds
1 AdventHealth Orlando 873 16.1% 2,753
2 Methodist Hospital 3862 15.7% 1,548
3 Montefiore Hospital - Moses Campus 273024 17.0% 1,458
4 Jackson Memorial Hospital 845 16.5% 1,457
5 Cleveland Clinic Main Campus 3120 15.5% 1,285
6 Barnes-Jewish Hospital 2442 16.4% 1,272
7 IU Health Methodist Hospital 1365 15.8% 1,226
8 UPMC Presbyterian 3439 16.9% 1,181
9 Mayo Clinic Hospital - Saint Mary's Campus 2191 14.3% 1,115
10 Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center 3003 14.9% 1,112

Fig 2 Data from Definitive Healthcare’s comprehensive Hospitals & IDNs platform, including intelligence on over 8,800 hospitals and IDNs in the U.S. Quality metrics from October 2019, the most recent available.

Learn more

Patient engagement is one metric that will continue to be tracked closely and the bar for success will get higher as more physicians feel the pressure to comply. Make sure you understand how your hospital compares by accessing the most reliable healthcare intelligence available through Definitive Healthcare. With Definitive’s comprehensive platform on hospitals and IDNs, you can:

  • Build custom reports of facilities by region, performance metrics, financial data, and other filters
  • Understand facility and network affiliations and referral patterns
  • Analyze current and historical diagnosis and procedure data across facility types
  • Identify facility leaders and decision-makers with contact information 

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