When you look at the predicted areas of focus for health organizations in 2014, such as those highlighted in the recent HIMMs article “Seven Trends Healthcare Experts Anticipate in 2014,” patient engagement continues to be a top priority.
So what is patient engagement? At Microsoft, we believe patient engagement encompasses the entire health ecosystem. It’s about the interaction people have with everyone involved in their health and well-being. Provider, payer, health and human services, and health life sciences organizations alike are always looking for ways to improve interactions with those they serve in order to achieve the triple aim of better care and outcomes for more people at lower costs.
In order to do so, they need to:
Better understand the health status of individuals and populations
Access health data in real time or near-real time
Improve communication and collaboration across the health ecosystem
Demonstrate their accountability for health outcomes
Improve people’s experience with the health ecosystem
Empower people to educate themselves about their health and healthy behaviors and create a support system of health professionals as well as family and friends
The good news is that today’s devices, cloud services, analytics technologies, and social media, make doing all of the above more efficient and effective than ever.
Solutions based on proven Microsoft software, devices, and services can help organizations across the health ecosystem meet consumer and patient needs as well as mission-critical organizational imperatives to improve patient engagement. They enable people to take advantage of today’s transformative technologies using familiar and secure tools to:
Engage people and providers. Inter-disciplinary teams can gain a 360° view of a patient and collaborate easily in real-time using solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Health professionals can communicate with one another and with patients via integrated communication tools such as IM, email, video conferencing, and social networks. This facilitates efficient, patient-centered coordination of care, claims, and research, and provides more ways to interact with patients.
Identify patients and populations. Health professionals can understand and explore the massive amount of digital information in the health ecosystem and beyond using self-service Microsoft health analytics solutions. This can help with identifying at-risk patients and targeting them with appropriate care steps, finding potential clinical research participants, predicting and managing patient workflow and population health, and so much more.
Manage health. Health organizations can empower people to better manage their health by providing convenient access to preventive health tips, lab results, care plans, vetted condition-specific health information, and online support communities using Microsoft cloud and mobile technologies. Further, staff can establish long-term, ongoing relationships focused on prevention and proactive management of health conditions using communication and collaboration tools such as Office 365 and Skype.
Monitor health. To help individuals and their health team monitor their health, digital scales, blood pressure and glucose monitors, pedometers, pulse oximeters, and more can be synced seamlessly and securely with health and wellness Windows 8 apps or HealthVault, for example. Capturing this type of important health data can help individuals and their caregivers track their progress and catch any health issues early to head off problems down the road.
Solutions for patient engagement are available through our global network of Microsoft partners. I’ll share examples of these solutions and how they’re being used across the health ecosystem in the weeks to come so make sure you check back with us.
Have a comment or opinion on this post or a question for the author? Send us an email or let us know on Facebook or via Twitter.