Patient engagement has long been recognized to be an essential element of high-quality healthcare services. Over the years, studies have shown there to be a direct correlation between the level of a patient's engagement in their healthcare and their health outcome and costs incurred for care. Generally speaking, “patient engagement” is a broad concept that combines patient activation with provider-initiated interventions that are designed to increase that activation and promote an increase in positive patient behavior. The 2013 report from the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) found that patients who were engaged in their own care reported an overall higher quality of care with fewer errors. Further, it’s been concluded that increased patient engagement has a positive impact on overall health outcomes, medication adherence and lower hospital admission rates.
Traditionally, clinicians have played a central role in helping patients understand and make informed decisions about their health. Unfortunately, the undeniable challenges clinicians face may inadvertently limit a patient’s willingness or ableness to become active participants in their own healthcare. As a result of this fundamental aperture, public and private health care organizations have been trying to develop new strategies to better engage their patients while concurrently relieving the systematic burdens placed upon providers. As many healthcare professionals will attest, patient engagement is one cornerstone needed to achieve the "triple aim" of improved health outcomes, better patient care, and lower costs.