|The Health Record Review
by Jeff Rowe, Editor
Posted on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 - 03:09 pm
When the subject of health IT began appearing in the news, the average person might understandably have assumed that whatever changes were heading their way were largely the domain of providers and other healthcare professionals.
But increasingly the general public is being viewed as an engine of change in its own right. One of the most direct articulations of that perspective is the newly released report, "Improving Quality and Reducing Costs in Health Care: Engaging Consumers Using Electronic Tools,” from the Bipartisan Policy Center.
From the outset, the report points to the role patients can play in improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare by becoming more engaged in their own health and healthcare.
In a paragraph in the Executive Summary that pretty much sums it up, the report notes:
"Patient-centered communication and engagement drive lower costs, better outcomes, and better patient experience in health care. Patients involved more closely in clinical decision- making report less pain and faster recovery, are more likely to adhere to medical recommendations, and carry out more health-related behavior change. Patient-centered communication and engagement are also associated with fewer diagnostic tests and referrals. Informed patients are less likely than other patients to choose elective surgery.”
Needless to say, those benefits are not spread far or wide enough across the general population, and the report makes a number of recommendations to push people in the desired direction
• Build Awareness of Benefits of Electronic Tools for Patient Engagement Among Clinicians, Hospitals and Other Providers;
• Develop and Disseminate Principles, Standards, Policies, Strategies, and Best Practices for Using Electronic Tools to Engage Patients;
• Build Awareness of Benefits of Health Care-Related Electronic Tools Among Consumers;
• Increase Federal, State and Private Sector Incentives for the Use of Electronic Tools to Support Engagement of Patients in Their Health and Health Care.
The full report can be found here.