eHealth - Social Business in Health
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eHealth - Social Business in Health
ehealth, integrating care, health monitoring, on line communication, interaction and (mobile) technology to care for health better
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Patient Engagement: A defining moment

Patient Engagement: A defining moment | eHealth - Social Business in Health |

This week on March 5, I'm delighted to have long-standing #hcsmca member and co-founder of #hcldr chat Colin Hung lead a discussion on patient engagement. I'll let Colin explain. 

By Colin Hung (@Colin_Hung)

Colin Hung

Last week I had the privilege of attending the 2014 annual HIMSS conference in Orlando Florida. Every year, I’m amazed and inspired by all the innovative people, products and projects that are presented or on display. This year was no exception.

One of the trending topics this year at HIMSS14 was patient engagement. For me this was particularly exciting. For years many of us on social media, especially those of us who participate on #hcsmca and other chats, have been advocating for more patient involvement in healthcare. Together we have helped to push the industry towards true patient-centred care and truly engaged patients.

In 2012 Leonard Kish (@leonardkish), a well-respected Healthcare IT consultant, wrote an amazing blog post, The Blockbuster Drug of the Century: An Engaged Patient, that showed how patient engagement could be the “blockbuster drug” of the year. In his post, Kish provides very compelling statistics:

  • 19.74% reduction in hospital admissions
  • 25.31% reduction in bed days of care
  • 86% patient satisfaction
  • $1,600 average cost per patient per year, compared to $13,121 for primary care and $77,745 for nursing home care
  • 20% to 57% reduction in the need to be treated for the chronic diseases studied, including diabetes, COPD, heart failure, PTSD, and depression

As I was touring the HIMSS14 exhibit hall, I was reminded constantly of Kish’s post. Almost every vendor had some form of patient engagement technology. ..

I began to wonder about the definition of patient engagement and whether or not it would be worthwhile for the healthcare IT industry to have a common definition. It’s my belief that armed without a standardized definition or widely accepted market norm, we’ll continue to see poorly conceived engagement technologies that do little more than throw patient data onto a screen...Pat Rich (@cmaer) wrote an excellent Day 1 summary of #HIMSS14,  The patient has no clothes, where he commented about how challenging patient engagement will be to operationalize: 

“…while the majority of patients will discover errors in their own records when they evaluate them, there are few mechanisms or resources in place for doctors’ offices to correct those records … and many physicians are unprepared for the impact truly engaged patients will have on their workflow.”

I believe that almost everyone would agree that becoming more involved and engaged in your own health and healthcare is a good thing. But what does being an engaged patient really mean? Is it possible to come up with a single definition that we can all agree to? ...

rob halkes's insight:

Great observations. Indeed large volumes of interests..
Interests in both meanings of curiosity and of weight (in the sense of self-interest) are high in this case. After a history of telling patients what to do (see for instance ), it will be no wonder that we really do want change to happen, but that is tricky. As Pat suggests: let’s do some research and in any case let’s write evaluations of any trial or pilot we undertake. It will not be easy surely.
That’s why I was thinking in building efforts to cooperation among protagonists. I gave a description of it here: . I’m curious of what you think of it. By the way co-creation and co-creation of experience is an excellent method to process coordination in this.

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Doctors Need to Be Where Their Patients Are: Online

Doctors Need to Be Where Their Patients Are: Online | eHealth - Social Business in Health |
If knowledge is power, then content (in proper context) is king. Why am I online blogging, pushing content through my website and even interacting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and many other sites?  Because my patients are there. Increasingly, they are utilizing the Internet to self-diagnose; to look for “second opinions” from peers and friends; to research a physician, recommended treatment, or hospital; or to find the latest information on their disease.

Studies suggests that patients forget more than 50 percent of what they are told in the doctor’s office. Add to that misremembering or misinterpretation, and the information holes grow even larger. What happens to the holes when these individuals get home? Research shows that consumers trust the recommendations of peers or friends far above those of any advertisement. And where are people interacting with those friends? Where are they searching? In many instances, online. They are sharing useful information, and this includes health concerns, treatment protocols, and medications. When patients feel they can’t turn to their doctor for answers, pulling information from the Internet is an easy, efficient, and logical choice.

Medicine and healthcare are undergoing massive changes; more and more regulations and obligations eat into physicians’ clinic time. Reimbursements have dropped, and as a result many doctors have felt they needed to increase their appointment load and decrease the time they spend on each. For patients, that translates to less time with their physician, less learning, more questions, more doubt, and sadly, more fear. Their antidote is Google.

The root word for doctor is “docere,” or “to teach,” and our patients are making decisions based on what they read online. We as physicians have a moral obligation to be sure that the information they are receiving is accurate. If we do not have the time to teach our patients while they are in the clinic, we need to be present where they are to address their residual questions, hesitancy, and fears (often due to lack of knowledge), and also to aid them through their medical decision-making process. In short, we need to be active in producing or curating online medical content to aid our patients. 

Doctors often believe that they need to spend hours upon hours coming up with content; they believe there is too much risk involved in “tweeting” or putting a post on Facebook. Yet most studies show that physician content and social media interactions are perfectly appropriate. You know the rules – follow them. You do not need to be an active writer; you already answer the same questions day in and day out. Why not just sit and dictate the answer to those questions and post them online? Don’t want to hire a professional? Don’t. Tumblr, Posterous, and other such sites make it simple to set up a site for content in minutes. Still don’t want to create content? Fine – then share links to accurate, actionable, and useful information on Twitter or Facebook.

We are physicians; our job is to lead patients toward health. We owe it to them to be sure that the information they are reading is of the same quality as we would give in our office, or want to get if (or, rather, when) we looked in the mirror and saw a patient staring back.

Howard Luks, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon with offices in Westchester and Duchess Counties. He is an associate professor of Orthopedic Surgery at New York Medical College, and serves as chief of Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy at University Orthopedics, PC andWestchester Medical Center. Follow him on Twitter @hjluks.

If knowledge is power, then content (in proper context) is king. Why am I online blogging, pushing content through my website and even interacting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and many ...
rob halkes's insight:

I don't need to say more, do I?

However, it may be best that the relationship between patients and doctors are approached from an equal perspective. It needs more than an attitude. But, eHealth applications seem to best suited for that.

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Digital Doctors, the Dutch Coference on Digital _ "eHealth beyond a hype" Digitaal dokteren steeds populairder - congres eHealth

Digital Doctors, the Dutch Coference on Digital _ "eHealth beyond a hype" Digitaal dokteren steeds populairder - congres eHealth | eHealth - Social Business in Health |
Live een congres volgen is dan wel erg 1.0, maar de deelnemers op het volgeboekte eHealth-congres twitterden zoveel dat #ehknmg op 9 februari landelijk een trending topic was. Het onderwerp leeft onder artsen.

Digital doctoring is a hot issue in the Netherlands, twitter consults, on line therapy and digital are getting more popular each day. Health Insurance companies and health care delivery professionals join into these interests.

President of the Dutch Doctors' associations, Arie van Nieuwenhuizen, opened the conference with the statement that "eHealth is now beyond being a hype."
eHealth is just not a new technology, but a multiplier for the speed of health renewal and reform. This is good for patients being stimulated to be their director of their own treatments! "

The conference agreed on the fact that eHealth still isn't that self evident part of common care. Structural reimbursement is relevant to that.

rob halkes's insight:

eHealth in NL beyond a hype. Great!

See my short summary. There is a link to a videoreview. (All Dutch   by the way ;-))

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