The 3 Benefits of Patient/Doctor Engagement

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A popularly expressed opinion is that healthcare is a process in which physicians care for patients. Now while this is undeniably true, healthcare stakeholders are now understanding that at certain times a physician can be more effective and helpful by explaining to patients how to get and remain healthy on their own.

Chief Outcomes Officer for GetWellNetwork, David Wright views it as patients who are edified about their current condition and what measures to take to remain healthy.

"We've been collecting data for more than ten years that demonstrates that patients who are engaged in their care consistently get better outcomes," he said.

GetWellNetwork produces what is known as” interactive patient care tools,” meaning the organization employs the use of technology is hospital rooms, usually by televisions in patients’ rooms, education them on several different points, including why they’re in the hospital, what they can do to speed up the recovery process, and how to best remain outside hospital doors following release. doctor with smiling patient

"The thinking is simple. If patients understand their condition, know the symptoms to watch for, know why they're taking medication and how to implement the necessary lifestyle changes, the chances of them getting and staying healthy are significantly improved,” said Wright.

According to Wright, there are three essential components that enhance patient experience and is a product of better patient engagement.

By improving patient satisfaction, deliberate efforts are made to appease the patient and alleviate any pain or discomfort. This can be done through the use of technology, as the process of care undergoes areas of improvement, so will patient satisfaction. Wright illustrates an example of advancing patient satisfaction by the company’s effort in education patients on their medication, resulting in steady improved scores on post-discharge HCAHPS surveys.

Quality and safety are also key components to overall improvement. When it comes to hospital hazards, a possible means of improving the incident rate of patient’s being harmed or injured is significantly reduced when patients are instructed on the importance of their well-being and responsibility to make cautionary, but necessary decisions.

Improved financial and operations proficiency play a large role in patient releases; often involving teaching and instructing them on how to better care for themselves at home. Wright believes the key to appropriate release and related savings is to supply patients upon admittance with a list of steps they need to take in order for the recovery time to be used effectively and lead to a timely discharge. Thereby constantly working with them during their stay, ensuring their medical condition has improved and can leave the hospital in good health.

Wright also points out that the use of interactive care tools can be implemented across a multitude of care settings, including ambulatory and physicians' offices.

"It's simple, when you proactively engage patients in their care, the quality of that care improves,” he said.

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