As the healthcare industry evolves, patient demand is increasing for value-based care from providers. Value-based healthcare is an emphasis on patients getting the full value from quality services and a push for preventive care. As the demand for value-based care increases so does the need for providers to accurately measure patient engagement. Patient engagement is one of the triple aims of healthcare; improving patient experience, improving the health of all global populations, and reducing the costs associated with receiving quality care. These aims were created because the US healthcare system is the most expensive in the entire world and costs are projected to increase in the following years. 

Why is Patient Engagement Important? 

Patient engagement and measuring it is important for several reasons. Patient engagement has been shown to play a key role in improving recovery time and even lowering health costs for patients and providers. High patient engagement means that the patient is taking a hands-on approach to their health and are staying informed about their condition. This leads to lower recovery time, which saves patients and providers money. It is a win-win situation. Patient engagement can also increase revenue because it fosters loyalty to the provider. In an industry that is constantly increasing costs, patients are always on the lookout for where they will be receiving the best care for their dollar. 

Forms of patient engagement include providing additional resources for continued education, patient engagement apps and platforms such as AC Health, wearables and sensors, and feedback forms and surveys. Below we will explore some of the traditional and innovative ways that healthcare providers are using to measure patient engagement. 

Patient Engagement Software & Platforms 

The advancement of technology and the integration of it into healthcare is revolutionizing the medical industry. Apps like AC Health put more power into the hands of patients and bridges the patient care access gap. It allows healthcare providers to follow up with patients after they have left the clinic setting and remind them of exercises, treatment plans, when it’s time to take medicine, and even upcoming appointments. Patients can sign into their portal and directly access their therapist or doctor and ask them questions. These patient portals are also a great source of data for healthcare providers. It can be used to measure how frequently patients engage in the platform, follow their exercises, and this data can be correlated to recovery times. Additionally, it can be used to assess potential future health risk factors for patients who do not engage. All of this data can be used to improve clinic processes and provide higher quality care to patients.  

Patient Activation Measure (PAM) 

The patient activation measure, also known as PAM, is a 0 to 100 point quantifiable scale that is used in determining patient engagement in healthcare. It requires patients to fill out a 13 question form. The PAM can be used across the board by all healthcare practitioners to measure to what degree patients are knowledgeable in managing their own health. In a study, it was shown that 12 out of 13 patients’ outcomes were improved for every 10 points they gained on the patient activation measure. This shows a strong correlation between patients being informed and active in their own health management and their expectations for recovery. This assessment is helpful for healthcare practitioners because it provides insight into what skills or knowledge the patient has and in what areas they need additional support. This is where practitioners step in and help patients gain the skills or education they need to improve. 

Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Processes (CAHPS) 

The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Processes is another tool that can be used to measure patient engagement in value-based care. This is the most widely used survey in assessing a patient’s experience throughout the United States and has been used since 1995. This survey differs from patient satisfaction surveys because it focuses on the patient’s experiences as a whole and produces objective and actionable information for practitioners. These surveys measure and assess communication between the patient and the provider, the patient’s knowledge and their overall satisfaction with the hospital/clinic environment. These surveys are conducted after the patient has already left the providing facility so there is no real-time course correction if patients are unsatisfied but the collected data can still be useful for healthcare providers. 

Patient engagement has become one of the essential pillars of value-based healthcare and health care providers must assess and understand the degree to which their patients are engaged. It is vital to their healing process and beneficial for therapists and doctors because their patient’s recovery time is shortened. Patient engagement is directly correlated with faster recovery. It can also help clinics save money and promote a loyal relationship between patient and provider. AC-Health makes patient engagement easy and provides valuable insight for providers. Some of the other benefits to healthcare providers for measuring patient engagement are making better staffing decisions, providing patients a resource outside of the clinic setting, making improvement efforts where they are needed, and even potentially reducing malpractice suits. 

If you are interested in testing out the benefits of a patient engagement platform for your clinic and seeing the results for yourself then please contact AC-Health With the latest in intuitive mobile interface, AC Health assists providers in making sure their patients are adhering to their medical instructions and receiving the best care possible. It will also help to measure patient engagement and provide key data to practitioners.