It's estimated that only 10% of the American public uses a digital personal health record, and according to Joel Vengco, vice president and CIO at Baystate Health, a four-hospital health system based in Springfield, Mass., only 16-22 percent use a patient portal.
At the Health IT Summit to be held on May 13-14, 2014 in Boston, and sponsored by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2), Vengco and his colleagues will address this and several related issues during the panel discussion entitled "Tools and Strategies to Engage Your Patient Population.
The panel will explore the latest mobile health and telehealth models and discuss several proven patient engagement strategies.
They will also outline the role that providers need to play in engaging and activating their patients, and more globally identify the systemic implications of rethinking the medical model with the activated patient in mind.
Population Health Management Drives Patient Engagement
During a recent interview, Vengco
pointed out that the healthcare industry's interest in patient engagement stems in part from the need to address population health management, which has become a national priority.
The federal government is now forcing health systems to take a closer look at metrics like 30-day hospital readmission rates.
And hospitals realize that one way to reduce these rates is to address the needs of their patient population--not just during a hospital stay but before and after it.
, they are developing a patient engagement platform that not only provides patients with as much information as possible about their care, it will also serve as a channel for them to connect to their primary care physician or care manager, and act as a resource for educational materials about their disease and upcoming procedures, as well as the benefits from their health plan.
But patient engagement can go even further, says Vengco
It can also offer mobile apps to monitor health and well-being, securely message clinicians, and offer unique tools like "way finding," the ability to physically navigate one's way around a large medical campus.
"We're focused on ways of achieving high touch for patients through technology," explained Vengco
Solving the Indifference Issue
CIO also points to one reason why so few patients actually use currently available patient portals.
Many patient portals are little more than electronic bulletin boards, according to Vengco