It’s sometimes easy to forget that patient engagement is about more than technology. Proper engagement requires a paradigm shift, with personalized strategies at the center of the transformation. Every patient is different, and making sure that they achieve the best outcomes requires providers to re-think their interactions in order to empower patients to take an active role in their own care.
Recently, Healthcare IT News spoke with Jan Oldenburg about the current state of patient engagement. Oldenburg noted that while technology is vital to helping patients stay informed and connected throughout their treatment cycle, it’s also crucial to develop personalized strategies to apply that technology based on individual patient preferences. She said:
No matter what technology is used, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. And true behavioral change can only occur when the patient decides to play their part as well. Even when it comes to appointment reminders, actions as simple as using the patient’s preferred method of contact can lead to increased response rates. Tailoring treatment to the individual encourages them to become more fully engaged with the process, improving care at every level of treatment and improving the value of care coordination.
“Technology needs to fit the problem to be solved – and fit the individual with the problem. We fail when we try to apply the same solution to different problems, like the person with a hammer to whom every problem looks like a nail. In healthcare, we have often assumed that everyone responds to technology in the same ways … The key for technology to be effective is that it will match the person with information and tools that are most effective for that person's needs, processing style, and readiness to change.”