Notes & Links: August 18, 2013

Drug or Snake Oil?

Dan Munro of iPatient contributing to Forbes takes a look at the new black in healthcare ‘patient engagement’. His article gives us a chance to pause and consider what it should mean and how it should be measured. I am an advocate of outcomes and how to measure if what we are doing is working and improving patient care. 

Dan quotes Leonard Kish Principle and Founder of VivaPhi

Actually, it’s surprising that it has taken us this long to focus on patient engagement because the results we have thus far are nothing short of astounding. If patient engagement were a drug, it would be the blockbuster drug of the century and malpractice not to use it.

Dan provides the reader with some metrics (outcomes) from patient engagement

Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect™ / Collaborative Cardiac Care Case Study (here):
1) Prevented 135 deaths and 260 costly emergencies

2) Patients meeting cholesterol goals went from 26% to 73%

3) Patients screened for cholesterol went from 55% to 97%

4) “Clinical care teams reduced overall mortality by 76 percent and cardiac mortality by 73 percent”

Dan’s advice, patient engagement is in place and is working while we all need is to be careful we are not being fed BS by believing what is passing for engagement is actually a way for systems to lower utilization cost at our expense. It is a short but excellent read. 

From my view patient engagement is key and should be build around an understanding of the problems patients and caregivers want to solve. Hereherehere and here are my thoughts on how to achieve patient engagement and what it does to drive improved patient care.