Patient Engagement vs Patient Activation
Patient engagement and Patient Activation are often used interchangeably, a quirk of the current healthcare discussion, in which patient engagement has come to mean both.
It is helpful to apply the consumer model to the patient journey showing how a patient is also a healthcare consumer (HCC), and their satisfaction and loyalty form part of the patient engagement process:
1. Awareness – HCC knows about a service but doesn’t think much about it
2. Engagement – HCC knows and cares, but isn’t yet compelled to act
3. Activation – HCC takes action
4. Reflection – HCC reflects on the patient experience, and perhaps rates their Patient Satisfaction
5. Loyalty – HCC’s would repeat the action, expect a good experience and may tell others about it
Patient engagement as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) clearly includes both engagement and activation:
Patient Engagement is the involvement in their own care by individuals (and others they designate to engage on their behalf), with the goal that they make competent, well-informed decisions about their health and health care and take action to support those decisions.”
With roots in the Chronic Care Model, the concept of patient activation describes the actions as:
- Collaborative Care – that the patient is in active partnership with and shares health decisions with their healthcare provider.
- Self-Management – that the patient is actively learning health related skills and behaviors to manage conditions in their daily lives, such as adhering to medication, tracking symptoms, eating better, moving more and doing rehab or physiotherapy.
6 Ways To Turn Patient Engagement Into Patient Activation
If you work for a healthcare organization with Patient Engagement as part of your mandate, this will sound familiar: “Put patients first; patients at the center!” So how do you engage patients? Then how do you activate patients who may be resistant to change?
Mobile phones is increasingly playing a role by providing a place where the patients may learn something and then be able to act immediately on a “call to action” within the technology.
Here are 6 ways mobile technology is connecting with patients and ensuring patient engagement includes patient activation:
- Technology can support conversations with healthcare providers about setting personally-meaningful goals.
- Apps that live on the patient’s own device (BYOD) provide anytime-anywhere support for self management activities.
- Smart phones and wearables trigger actions and provide immediate feedback that can increase health behaviors.
- Mobile app social features can foster peer communication and provide support for the belief “I can do this!”
- Gamification can help patients relax and relate to the app, helping them feel “this is for me!”
- Personalized apps, like Ayogo’s Empower direct patients to your patient portal.
An IT-enabled patient engagement system is now within reach. Find out how Empower can be customized for your healthcare system and turn Patient Engagement into Patient Activation.