Using medical COW carts has unexpectantly become one of the strategies used by hospitals to increase patient engagement. Many studies have shown that the more active the patient engagement at a facility, the better the patient care and ultimately, the profitability.

Getting a patient to participate in his or her care actively has become easier in some ways due to the advent of the information age, HIPPA compliance, and patient record security requirements.

Healthcare centers can use a combination of different strategies to improve overall patient engagement including point-of-care medical carts which enable doctors and other medical staff to focus on their patients without distractions. Studies have shown that patients have a better experience and are more satisfied with their hospital stay when the medical staff are more engaged with their care.

Regular Sharing of Information

One of the impacts of requiring healthcare facilities to keep electronic medical records (EMR) is the overall positive effect it has had on patient engagement.

Patients can take a more active and inclusive part in their care. Healthcare workers can work together and provide patients with continual feedback and direction.

Patient portals allow information such as appointment reminders, action items, medication information, and more to the patient, keeping him or her engaged.

Simplifying the Message

Minimize the use of medical acronyms and colloquialisms. Ensure that you write in simple terms when explaining things to a patient. The rule of thumb is 6th-8th grade level writing.

Include the Patient in Setting Goals and Treatments

Patients today are not as accepting of what a doctor or other professional may tell them. The internet provides patients with an ability to self-diagnose. Patients often may review what other care-providers have suggested in similar situations and challenge your recommendations.

Carefully explaining what the patient needs to do and including him or her in setting goals to get there, provides a more inclusive environment and a better patient experience.

Help your patients set concrete, realistic goals, and work toward reaching them.

Factor in Patient Values

Knowing what is important to your patient, and his or her cultural and religious values can help keep them engaged with treatment plans.

Be cognizant of anything that might violate his or her code of ethics, morals, or religious taboos.

Accountability

Use accountability as a tool to encourage patient inclusion. Create a system whereby the patient, individually or in a group, can track their progress.

Tangible goals with reminders help encourage participation and progress.

Out-Patient Support

Healthcare providers must provide ways for patients and healthcare givers to remain in contact once someone has been released from the clinic or hospital.

Messaging back and forth, email or some other means to ask and answer questions helps make patient engagement more obtainable.

This can also help you encourage patients who may be reticent or shy about participating in his or her own care to become more active.

Medical Apps

Providing applications for patients to use also helps with engagement. Smartphones have become a way of life. Allowing patients to access their patient portals and upload data, read results, or ask questions through healthcare apps is a practical and simple way to improve your patient engagement.

Social Media

Encourage patients who are comfortable in doing so to share stories and photographs about their experiences.

Ensure that your hospital or office website posts blogs and videos regularly on topical subjects and subjects related to the care specialty of the facility.

Outcomes

By achieving higher levels of patient engagement, treatment results, and patient emotional satisfaction improves.

Patients will not only appreciate the personalized care received but are also more likely to adopt healthier lifestyles and remain committed to whatever regimen they must follow to get well as quickly as possible.

Emma Reed has a background in Psychology (B.A.) and Medical Anthropology (M.S.) and writes for a variety of medical publications. Her passion is making cutting-edge medical information accessible to a wider audience, and her work often examines the intersections of sociology, anthropology, and medicine.
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