The healthcare industry is changing. Every day it becomes more vital to get patients to take active roles in their care. Patient empowerment is a critical component to operating profitability in this new world. This framework provides a model to help organizations make informed decisions about the future of our businesses and our industry.
Care delivery and reimbursement models are shifting. Population health management and value-based reimbursement are changing the way our businesses operate. To profitably provide care, it is imperative to empower patients. Simply put, healthcare organizations need effective, affordable, and measurable ways to get whole populations of patients to take greater responsibility for their own health and well-being.
There are many aspects to patient empowerment. But in general, understanding of this concept is fragmented. There are not agreed-upon definitions for terms like activation or engagement. And there is no comprehensive understanding of how these various aspects fit together. Further complicating matters, designing strategies for today’s world may not be effective in the near future, as technologies such as mobile devices and social networks are rapidly changing how consumers expect to be engaged.
The following Patient Empowerment Framework addresses these challenges. It breaks down the concept, defines common terms, explains how various niche industries fit together and identifies gaps we in the industry still need to address. The Framework is written from the healthcare organization’s point of view as it looks to get patients to take a specific health-related action or series of actions. The Framework guides the organization from a common starting point (not knowing which patients in a population need attention) to a rolling end point (measuring results and implementing tactical improvements to processes).