What is Patient Engagement and Role of AI in its Maximization?

The shift to value-based care is changing the patient-provider relationship, with patients becoming more informed and invested in their health. Value-based care focuses on providing quality healthcare rather than just generating revenue, driving competition among healthcare providers and ensuring patient satisfaction. To achieve good health outcomes, both patients and care providers need to work together in harmony, with care providers promoting transparency, accessibility, and coaching programs while patients must be honest with their providers. This has led to a focus on patient engagement strategies among care providers.

What is patient engagement?

Patient engagement involves patients in their health journey, which care providers can achieve through active and informed decision-making. This approach helps patients feel empowered and confident in their care, as they are not just treated as transactions but as individuals with unique needs. Empathy is the first pillar of patient engagement, followed by providing information and guidance to patients, and collaborating with them to create personalized care plans for optimal results.

Why patient engagement?

In 2021, a survey conducted by Pegasystems revealed that 76% of the providers they surveyed believed that patient engagement makes them more accessible and easier to connect with patients. Additionally, a 2022 survey by Actium found that 61% of patients in their survey desired more information from their providers. Patient engagement empowers patients to make decisions about their health and gives them a sense of security through personalized care. These surveys and statistics indicate the effectiveness of patient engagement services.

To better understand the importance of patient engagement, we can use the example of people joining a gym for different physical goals. Each person has different requirements to achieve their desired fitness goals, and a one-size-fits-all fitness routine won’t suffice for everyone. Similarly, each patient has unique health requirements that should be tailored to their needs. Factors like emotional and mental health, social determinants of health (SDoH), and genetic factors must be considered to achieve optimal health conditions for each patient. In addition, health equity ensures that every patient has the right to receive tailored care management for their specific needs.

Maximizing Patient Engagement: Benefits and Strategies for Improved Healthcare

Care providers should encourage active participation from patients, their family members, and care management staff to enhance patient engagement. In addition, providers should explain to their teams how patient and family engagement benefits their hospital and address any cynicism from patients by informing them of the benefits and answering their questions.

Leveraging the benefits of patient engagement can increase patient engagement, including:

  • Improved patient knowledge and participation: When patients have a better understanding of their ailments, they can provide relevant inputs that affect the effectiveness of their care. Family members can also contribute to the care journey by taking up tasks. This leads to better outcomes, and coaching from the care provider can help mitigate any risks in time.
  • Effective communication and patient collaboration: When patients are encouraged to get involved, communication barriers disappear, and everyone can work harmoniously towards the goal of getting healthier. Group programs and activities can be organized to help patients in their journey to wellbeing, and patients and their family members can express their concerns more honestly, enabling them to get better-suited care.
  • Personalization of care: The value-based care model recognizes that providing optimal care is the value. Therefore, care plans must be tailored to individual patients based on their needs and medical history, among other factors. Personalization is only possible through effective clear communication.
  • Lesser readmissions: Care management teams can use care plans to manage the patient’s health, for instance, starting Transitional Care Management (TCM) plans for patients admitted to the hospital. The Care Management team, Primary Care Provider (PCP), Social worker, and all those involved in the patient’s healthcare journey are involved in the patient’s treatment, which ensures nothing from the patient’s medical history goes unconsidered during their treatment. Post-discharge care is also monitored, leading to lesser readmissions and better follow-up care.
  • Higher patient satisfaction: With personalized care, involvement in the decision-making, and appropriate information about one’s health condition, patients feel empowered and in control of their well-being. This leads to higher patient satisfaction, avoiding potential admissions and ER visits.
    Competitive advantage: Facilities using patient engagement strategies stand out, leading to increased customer satisfaction and ultimately better business performance.
  • Better visit management: Patients feel free to communicate with their providers regarding scheduling their appointments per each other’s availability, leading to a drop in appointment cancellations. Care managers can assist patients in picking up and dropping off patients if required, which is possible only when care providers show empathy towards the needs of their patients.
  • Positive financial impact: Existing patients who participate in their healthcare journey without any skepticism generate revenue and save on the future cost of avoided hospitalization or ER visits. As the service gets popular amongst existing patients, more patients hear about the services and avail themselves of the offerings, bringing in more revenue by new patient acquisition.

How to improve patient engagement?

Healthcare is becoming more patient-centric with the adoption of value-based care. The use of modern technology in treatments and healthcare systems, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and wearable health monitoring devices, is significantly impacting today’s healthcare system. These factors can be leveraged to increase patient engagement.

Firstly, wearable, and portable health devices such as smartwatches, health patches, and portable glucometers generate a significant amount of data for each patient, which can be used to create customized care options. These devices are interoperable, making data transmission seamless.

Secondly, digitizing patient engagement portals saves time, is compact, and less tedious than manual processes. Online portals allow patients to book appointments, access lab reports, and provide care providers with real-time data.

Thirdly, AI can be used to fasten risk management processes in healthcare. The HealthEM.AI Care Management platform uses AI to give a risk stratification of the patient population, allowing care providers to identify patients requiring more attention and create care plans quickly.

Lastly, training care providers is essential for successful patient engagement. Care providers need to be aware of digital systems, ways to create customized care plans, and implementation.

In conclusion, the healthcare industry is shifting towards a more patient-centric approach, with customers expecting personalized care. Providers need to take note of these factors and engage with their patients personally to provide the best-in-class care. HealthEM.AI aims to make this shift a smooth ride by analyzing our customers’ needs and creating personalized suites to cater to their requirements.

How HealthEM.AI can help improve patient engagement?

HealthEM.AI understands the needs of their customers to care for their patient population, and we would like to equip them with the toolkit of the data generated in their healthcare ecosystem. We have developed advanced AI modules to help our customers find the patients requiring the most care by categorizing them in different risk stratification leading to help our customers run suitable care programs and plans for these high-risk patients. The AI models are not only robust but also customizable. We save our customers time and reduce their labor by providing priority lists, ready-to-use care plans, timelines marking even the smallest event in the patient’s health journey, consolidated patient files and interactive dashboards. In addition, HealthEM.AI’s Total Care management suite is a one-stop solution for institutions aiming to take their patient care to greater heights.