In July of 2012, National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) convened a meeting of the Consumer Consortium on eHealth. The Consortium was created in early 2011 and has since developed into a diverse group of over 300 individuals and organizations, united in the common goal to use health IT to engage patients in their care. During the 2012 Consumer Engagement Summit, it became clear that something had changed in the way people were talking about patient engagement. In 2011, there had been a persistent question: “Why patient engagement?” By this past summer, the questions were: “How do we do it?” and “Where do we start?”
It was with that zeal and enthusiasm that NeHC, led by Board member and Senior Vice President for Policy at Healthwise Leslie Kelly Hall, embarked on an effort to help organizations identify that starting point and give them a finish line to strive toward. This year NeHC, with the participation and contribution of over 150 collaborators, pointed out the path to the finish line with the Patient Engagement Framework.
The Framework provides a guide for healthcare organizations to think about patient engagement using eHealth tools and resources. It encompasses five phases of development to strengthen organizations’ patient engagement strategies: Inform Me, Engage Me, Empower Me, Partner With Me, and Support My e-Community. The characteristics of some of these phases include information and way finding, e-tools, patient-specific education, and the build-up to patient access to records, patient generated data, interoperable records, collaborative care, and community support.