Thursday, April 5, 2012

Managing chronic conditions through automated patient engagement

Thanks to the good folks at PhysBizTech for publishing my little screed on using health information to engage patients. Insomniacs among you can find it here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Patient Engagement in the US and Abroad

Robin Osborne and David Squires from The Commonwealth Fund just published a survey of almost 19,000 patients from 11 developed nations (including the US) to see how engaged they are in their health care.  The US scores were fair-to-middling, better than Norway, Sweden and Canada, but nearly as good as the UK and Switzerland.

Remarkably, the US did very well on "Follow-up and Support Between Visits" for patients with a chronic condition: 77% said they could easily call to ask a question or get advice and 31% said that their health care professional contacts them to see how things are going. Although 31% was the best of any of the countries, it is not a very good showing at all. Clearly, this is a big opportunity area both at home and around the world.

What good is being engaged? The more engaged patients are, the higher the reported quality of care and the less likely they are to experience a medical error. Coupled with other, prospective, evidence that engagement improves medical outcomes and lowers costs of care, and this is a very big deal, indeed.

Osborn R, Squires D. International Perspectives on Patient Engagement: Results From the 2011 Commonwealth Fund Survey. The Journal of Ambulatory Care Management 2012;35(2):118-28

You can read the article here.