Patient Engagement and Patient-centered Care

by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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    00:01 By now, you may have noticed a theme of how technology can be used to connect, bridge, relate, and communicate more effectively with patients and systems across the world. Now, in each of these potential intersections, there's this potential to empower or disempower patients from being able to make their own healthcare decisions. Well, in other words, to keep patients at the center of care rather than the technology being at the center of the care.

    00:29 Today we're going to explore key concepts such as patient engagement, health literacy, digital literacy, and how technology-driven informatics can facilitate patient-centered care.

    00:42 Now, picture technology is a gateway.

    00:44 It's a gateway to a world of health information and resources.

    00:48 It's like a passport that allows the patients to actively engage in their healthcare journey.

    00:54 Now, from a patient-centered care perspective, patients are active partners in their healthcare journey.

    00:59 They work hand in hand with healthcare providers to develop personalized treatment plans that align with their values and preferences.

    01:08 For some patients, this will be a notebook with a handwritten heart rate value that they bring to a live appointment.

    01:14 For others, it may be a wearable device, like a fitness tracker that empowers patients to monitor their health and track progress toward their goals.

    01:23 For systems, providers and patients with a stronger relationship with technology, levels of health and digital literacy are crucial to consider. So let's review some definitions.

    01:35 Health literacy.

    01:37 Now, that's the ability to understand and use health information to make informed decisions about one's health.

    01:44 With the right knowledge and skills, patients can interpret medical terms.

    01:48 They can understand their treatment options and they can more actively participate in shared decision-making.

    01:54 Digital literacy, on the other hand, is the ability to access, understand and utilize digital technologies effectively.

    02:03 As with any other skill, health and digital literacy can be developed and how accessible health information and technology is always plays a huge part.

    02:13 For example, most healthcare providers have worked with a variety of technological devices over their career and each one of those devices has had its own quirks and issues.

    02:25 The average user develops workarounds when encountering aspects of technology that are not user-friendly.

    02:32 Health Informaticists look for ways to design technology that are user-friendly to begin with.

    02:39 Imagine a personal health management platform that's designed with multiple login screens and various colors, various designs, and has so many images and buttons on each screen that the programing frequently stops working.

    02:52 Patients and providers alike will quickly become frustrated and stop using the system altogether.

    02:59 Now consider a platform with one simple login screen with just a few options.

    03:04 There's limited color and graphics and clearly labeled navigation buttons.

    03:09 This is what makes these systems accessible and what makes them usable.

    03:14 So what are some ways that we can engage with patients in health care technology? Well, first we have to assess patient preferences and their level of health and digital literacy.

    03:25 Now there are several evidence-based screening tools available in the downloadable resource section of this course that you can use and evaluate.

    03:32 Second, no matter where you work, review the internal documents and educational materials so that you are familiar with these documents and to ensure they're written, published or available at appropriate reading levels and accessible through the easiest mechanisms.

    03:49 Third, recognize when patients are hesitant to use technology and explore why.

    03:56 Ask about the internet and device access.

    03:59 Consider that adjusting to changes in health status may be all they can manage at the moment, and adding the complexity of learning to use new technologies may feel completely overwhelming.

    04:11 Once you've worked through these steps with each individual patient or Issue, think about how you can individualize your plan.

    04:19 For example, if a patient doesn't have internet access or doesn't want to use an online personal management system to access their lab results, make sure your organization keeps a process to mail call or schedule additional live appointments to meet their needs.

    04:36 Each of us must use our role to advocate for technology that is both useful and user-friendly.

    04:43 If you are the informaticist on the healthcare team, you're in a position to suggest ways the interfaces of various technological devices can be adapted, changed or designed to meet the user's specific needs. If you're the provider, you're in a position to ask for what you need the system to be able to do and in what way is most efficient and effective for you? Now, before we stop, I want to remind you to access the downloadable resource section. There are several websites that have specific toolkits on how to assess and individualize health care information and technology so that you can meet the individual provider and patient health and digital health literacy needs.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Patient Engagement and Patient-centered Care by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN is from the course Healthcare Informatics.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. A clinic transitioning to an online booking system, but still allowing clients to call in to make appointments if they are uncomfortable booking online.
    2. A clinic transitioning to an online booking system, but offering tutorials on how to book online for those who are uncomfortable.
    3. A clinic transitioning to an online booking system, and giving clients a one-month warning before they can no longer book by other methods.
    4. A clinic transitioning to an online booking system, and helping clients find access to laptops and phones should they need them.
    1. Assessing health and digital literacy levels.
    2. Ensuring availability of materials at the client’s reading level.
    3. Addressing the client’s hesitations about technology.
    4. Individualize the client’s care plan based on their preferences.
    1. Health literacy
    2. Health competency
    3. Digital literacy
    4. Digital competency

    Author of lecture Patient Engagement and Patient-centered Care

     Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

    Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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