Strategies for empowering your patients


More engaged patients are more likely to follow your advice. Here are five ways to jumpstart your practice's efforts.

Before physicians can successfully transition their practices to value-driven care, they must first enlist the help of one of their greatest assets: the patient. Even with the right technologies and care management programs in place, practices won't be able to positively impact outcomes or influence costs without an involved and engaged patient population.

Engaged patients are more likely to receive recommended screenings, follow treatment guidelines, and lead a healthy lifestyle. They are more loyal as well. A patient base that is both loyal and engaged is a major advantage for practices.

So what does an engaged patient look like? Simply put, engaged patients are ones that:

  • Understand their conditions;
  • Understand the treatment and what it will do for them; and
  • Believe the treatment will make a difference in their lives.

The last point is of particular interest: When a patient trusts that a treatment will be effective, there's a much higher chance it will work for them and produce the desired results.

Involving patients in their care is essential to improving outcomes and lowering costs. But where should a practice begin?

Here are five strategies physicians can employ to jumpstart their engagement efforts:

Collaborative transformation

Practices can put their accountable care goals within reach and provide more patient-centered care by encouraging patients and their families to be active members of their care team. It starts with meeting patients where they are. Easy-to-use, tailored, and convenient options empower patients to be more involved and engaged.

By working together and taking advantage of the latest health management, wellness, and communication tools, patients and physicians can drive better outcomes, lower costs, and create a more positive care experience.

About the Author

James Cowan, MD, is the president of Jim Cowan Consulting, LLC..