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Patient Engagement: Four Case Studies That Highlight The Potential For Improved Health Outcomes And Reduced Costs

Ara Darzi, Hanan Al Kuwari, Jeremy Laurance, Mariam Matar, Peter J. Howitt, Sarah Henderson, Susan Edgman-Levitan

Health Affairs Journal Volume: 33 Issue: 9

The energy of patients and members of the public worldwide who care about improving health is a huge, but still largely unrecognized and untapped, resource. The aim of patient engagement is to shift the clinical paradigm from determining “what is the matter?” to discovering “what matters to you?” This article presents four case studies from around the world that highlight the proven and potential abilities of increased patient engagement to improve health outcomes and reduce costs, while extending the reach of treatment and diagnostic programs into the community. The cases are an online mental health community in the United Kingdom, a genetic screening program in the United Arab Emirates, a World Health Organization checklist for new mothers, and a hospital-based patient engagement initiative in the United States. Evidence from these and similar endeavors suggests that closer collaboration on the part of patients, families, health care providers, health care systems, and policy makers at multiple levels could help diverse nations provide more effective and population-appropriate health care with fewer resources.

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Patient Engagement: Four Case Studies That Highlight The Potential For Improved Health Outcomes And Reduced Costs

February 5, 2020 – It’s no secret that hospitals are facing mounting pressures. While demands on the system are going up due to trends like an aging population and changing technology, hospital budgets are going down. Hospitals are struggling to keep up and the situation is only projected to get worse.

In the face of these challenges, healthcare leaders are looking for better ways to optimize hospital operations and ensure optimal patient outcomes. The challenge, however, has been finding a solution that is sustainable, cost effective and future proof.

At HealthHub, we think the solution lies in the patients themselves – through patient engagement.

Patient engagement involves providing patients with access to the right information at the right time. It means connecting patients to their healthcare providers and systems. And, it means supporting patients along the way with the right tools, controls and entertainment to make their journey as seamless and as frictionless as possible.

Although decades ago, it was thought that patients should be kept in the dark about their own health, we now know that when patients are engaged, everyone wins.

In fact, when patients are enabled with the right information, they become better informed, more empowered, and more engaged in their own care – all of which lead to better health outcomes and a more efficient healthcare system.

Engaged patients mean that doctors can do more doctoring, nurses can do more nursing and administrators can focus on delivering added value to the system.

So, just how can we facilitate patient engagement? By bringing the hospital to the patient’s bedside.

Of the 5.8 days the average Canadian patient stays in hospital, most of this time is spent alone, often watching a bedside TV. At HealthHub, we recognized this as an opportunity for innovation. In fact, we’ve developed a new bedside terminal platform, called myHealthHub, that replaces outdated TVs to deliver a powerful patient engagement solution.

Our platform not only enables patients to be entertained through features like on-demand TV and Wi-Fi, but it also allows patients to stay engaged with family, friends, community, hospital and – most importantly – their own care, through a suite of patient engagement applications.

By taking a patient-centered approach, we’re helping to bring the hospital to the bedside and transform the patient experience.

HealthHub is investing significantly to improve the experience of the Canadian patient and, in 2019, launched our all-new myHealthHub
patient engagement platform, along with making other company changes (see image below).

What’s more is that the benefits don’t stop at the patient. The benefits of our bedside patient engagement platform extend beyond the patient and to healthcare providers.

Let’s take one example. So many times, nurses report that they feel as if they’re the captain of their patient’s journey. In addition to providing caregiving and companionship, nurses are relied on to respond to a wide range of patient requests – dim the lights, order meals, adjust environmental controls and so on. If patients had the right technology at their bedside, providing them with better control over simple things like their environment or food orders, imagine what it would mean for both nurses and patients? Patients would have more agency and nurses could focus on providing care and companionship – the things that have been proven to help people heal faster.

Bedside patient engagement technology also aligns with the current global shift towards valuing patient outcome and experience over simply patient flow. Rather than focus on how quickly patients can be moved through a hospital, decision-makers are looking at the patient journey through a more holistic lens and working to improve it. This is in part because it’s the right thing to do and in part because patients are demanding it. As our world becomes more digitally-enabled, patients expect hospitals to be equipped with the latest technology and they expect connectivity – even from their hospital bed.

In summary, as pressures mount for hospitals to operate more efficiently, provide excellent patient experiences and deliver optimal health outcomes, we think the future lies in the hands of the patients. By unlocking new possibilities that come along with patient engagement, everyone wins. We’ve already seen proof that bedside patient engagement technology can transform patient experiences and outcomes – and we’ve only just begun.

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To learn more about myHealthHub, please visit www.healthhubsolutions.ca/myhealthhub

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