Preparing for Accountable Care: The Role of Health IT in Engaging Patients
Author: Caitlin Lorincz, Erica Drazen
As healthcare organizations become more accountable for the care they provide, engaging patients in their health, wellness and medical decisions will be increasingly important. A healthcare organization's ability to engage patients will be enabled through the use of key health information technologies.
This white paper introduces four dimensions of health IT tools needed to accomplish patient engagement activities, provides supporting evidence and highlights relevant case examples. It also offers advice to healthcare organizations on how to move ahead in implementing these tools.
While the concept of accountable care has existed for some time, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 lends it greater prominence. Going forward, patient care is expected to become more patient-centered and proactive with an emphasis on keeping patients healthy. The hope is that such means will improve quality and patient outcomes, while also helping to constrain costs. As healthcare organizations become more accountable for the care that they provide, engaging patients in their health and wellness will become increasingly important. Office visits are short and periodic at best. Patients already provide much of their care themselves on a day-to-day basis, either directly or with the assistance of family members. The better engaged and informed that patients are, the better able they will be to make sound care decisions and keep themselves healthy.
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