Dec. 10, 2012
Engaging consumers more fully in their own health and health care not only improves the experience of care for patients and their families, it also improves the quality and cost- effectiveness of care.
Research shows that more engaged patients have better outcomes in terms of both cost and quality, which is why consumer engagement is such an essential element of new delivery system and payment reforms now emerging to address the significant challenges facing the U.S. health care system. Online and electronic tools that play such key roles in many other aspects of American life—from how people manage their finances to how they shop for goods and services—can be leveraged to accelerate and support patient engagement efforts in health care.
Greater engagement of patients and their families supports better health system performance across all six attributes of high-performance in health care as identified by the Bipartisan Policy Center in its January 2012 report titled Transforming Health Care: The Role of Health IT: organization-wide focus on the needs of the patient; strong organizational and clinical leadership; access to information to support efficient, coordinated care; timely access to care; emphasis on prevention, wellness, and healthy behaviors; and accountability, alignment of incentives, and payment reform.