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4 Ways Patient Engagement Improves Health Outcomes for Chronic Diseases

Female physician checking male patient's thyroid

Chronic disease is a way of life for many Americans. Six in ten patients have at least one chronic disease and 4 in 10 have two or more, but through patient engagement, healthcare consumers can manage their conditions while improving their health outcomes.

There are numerous benefits of actively engaging with patients that facilitate the mission of the healthcare provider and the well-being of a patient. But, the benefits listed below are some of the best ways patient engagement can improve the health outcomes of healthcare consumers managing chronic diseases.

1. Patients stick to their care plan.

Patients can be fickle. Life happens and they may forget to take their medication, or they start a new diet or fitness regimen without consulting their doctor. But for patients with chronic conditions, following a care plan consistently is crucial to improving their health outcomes.

Patient engagement can help fill in those gaps in care that otherwise would be left alone. A great place to start is building digital workflows to manage communications and keep track of patient and provider touchpoints. Specific instances, like patients not responding to a post-appointment survey on their current well-being, could trigger the system to notify the provider to reach out again to make sure the patient is ok. While it’s easy for providers to get frustrated with unreliable patients, communicating from an empathetic perspective will help improve patient compliance and loyalty.

2. Providers can be proactive versus reactive in patient care.

For providers who still need help with keeping patients in check before or after they’re diagnosed with a chronic condition, healthcare insights from the PatientBond Insights Accelerator™ can make a difference. These insights pull heat-mapped data to understand patients locally across the United States as well as psychographic insights. Psychographics identify patient values and beliefs of through a quick classifier survey and uses the result to determine what motivates them to act on their health. 

For instance, PatientBond market research shows that the psychographic segment Direction Taker is statistically more likely than any segment to suffer from COPD and diabetes while a Willful Endurer is statistically more likely than any other segment to have depression.

Current Chronic Health Conditions

General Population

(n=5000)

Self Achievers

(n=1032)

a

Balance Seekers

(n=775)

b

Priority Jugglers

(n=586)

c

Direction Takers

(n=743)

d

Willful Endurers

(n=1864)

e

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

3.7%

 

3.3%

1.6%

3.7%

7.1%

abce

3.2%

Depression

24.5%

 

16.0%

24.4%

a

21.8%

a

21.1%

31.6%

abcd

Diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2)

14.6%

15.6%

b

9.1%

11.1%

20.9%

abce

14.9%

b

Note: Each psychographic segment/column is designated with a letter a - e. When the percentage of a segment with a health condition is statistically greater (95% confidence) than the percentage for other segments, the letter of the segment/column with the smaller segment percentage is listed.

 

This is especially helpful for providers to anticipate the likelihood of a patient having a condition or for a hospital’s service line marketers to target patient populations who are most likely to benefit from treatment. This type of information is also helpful if a patient is already diagnosed with a chronic condition associated with comorbidities, especially if their segment is statistically more likely to get it than others. That proactive approach is exactly what patients are looking for in a healthcare provider.

3. Patients build better relationships with their care team.

In a peer-reviewed article, researchers found that when a relationship between a patient and a nurse is bound by reliance, friendship and support, it improves the patient’s health outcomes. Many studies have found the same correlation with the Annals of Family Medicine citing that good patient-provider relationships not only improve health outcomes, but ones that are poor actually worsen them.

The number 1 way a provider can show a patient that they care is through acknowledging and understanding a patient’s health and wellness goals. PatientBond market research found that 22.1% of the general population feels this way, while 18.3% of healthcare consumers want cues that doctors follow what the patient says by nodding, verbal acknowledgement, etc.

Strong relationships are a win for patients and providers. Patients improve their health and wellbeing, which is critical for chronic disease management, and providers improve their mission. This leads patients to continually return for care when they need it for other conditions. PatientBond’s Patient-Provider Match program facilitates strong bonds between clinicians and patients by connecting like-minded individuals who share similar health philosophies and practice preferences.

3. Patients seek their providers for other services.

As providers engage with patients using touchpoint workflows, they reconnect with the patient in multiple ways: appointment reminders, post-appointment surveys, health alerts and more. This is part of the process of building a good relationship with a patient, but a positive care experience will surely keep them coming back again and again. 

With Upfront Healthcare’s recent acquisition of PatientBond, more patients than ever can get the care they need with the experience that fits their needs. Learn more about the acquisition and how it expands patient engagement capabilities.



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