Patient engagement, at its roots, is about ensuring that patients have the information available and access to services that encourage and enable them to be an active member of their health team.
Is patient engagement the key to reform? Are engaged patients capable of improving health outcomes? In short, the answer to both of these questions is yes. An engaged patient does experience better health outcomes, and better health outcomes often equates to lower health costs.
Patient engagement empowers the consumer and allows the consumer to make choices in their health care. It’s about communicating the evidence and options available so that we as patients can work with our care team to determine what is best for us.
Patient engagement is also central to patient safety. When the patient is actively involved in the care process and conversations, there tend to be fewer errors. Patient engagement also pushes the health team to be more transparent about their practices. In the end, the patient’s #1 advocate is the patient.