NeHC targets patient engagement

November 20, 2012 in Medical Technology

National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) has released its Patient Engagement Framework, a model meant to help healthcare organizations devise patient engagement strategies through the use of health IT.

“We hope this Patient Engagement Framework will be a useful resource for healthcare organizations,” said NeHC CEO Kate Berry. “We are at a critical moment when patient engagement is becoming increasingly important given the movement toward meaningful use and accountable care.”

The Patient Engagement Framework outlines several attributes of organizations that successfully engage and support patients, and ultimately their communities, in their care, say NeHC officials. It provides a series of phases to show the progression from a provider-centric model to one that is truly patient-centered.

The phases of the framework include “inform me,” “engage me,” “empower me,” “partner with me,” and “support my community.” Within these phases, the framework is organized to build on an organization’s capabilities including information and way-finding, e-tools, forms and patient education, patient access to their information, patient role in generating their information, and patient role in the care team, officials say.

“The patient is the point of health information, and a framework for systematically keeping the patient’s interests at the center of health information technology helps us move toward higher-performance, higher-value healthcare,” said Jon Perlin, MD, chief medical officer and president of clinical services at the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). “This is a great way for healthcare to measure how prepared they are for patient engagement.”

The Framework took into consideration several existing resources and patient engagement measures, including those required by meaningful use Stages 1 and 2, say NeHC officials.

More than 100 individuals from across the healthcare, patient engagement and behavioral science fields reviewed and provided input. Since January, the framework has circulated among several groups, including the Partnership for Women and Families, The Foundation for Informed Decision Making, Healthwise employees and advisors, the Long Term Post Acute Care Association, members of HL7, members of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) Health IT Standards and Policy Committees, and members of the Consumer Consortium on eHealth.

“It was important that we create a tool that could be adapted to a variety of care settings and be a practical guide for organizations really trying to strengthen their patient engagement strategies,” said Leslie Kelly Hall, senior vice president of policy for Healthwise, a Boise, Idaho-based development of patient education tools, and an NeHC board member. ??”Each time we reviewed the framework with a group we incorporated feedback and refined our final product,” she added. “The entire process was a great learning experience and brought us closer to understanding the needs of many communities in trying to effectively engage patients by using health IT.  We recognize that the Framework will continue to be refined.”


The Patient Engagement Framework is available for download here.



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