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Patient Motivation a Must for Accountable Care

HCPro Staff, October 5, 2011

These were their key recommendations:

  • Enable patient identification and tracking. The implementation of an electronic medical record (EMR) is a big part of achieving this goal.
  • Promote patient and provider interaction and communication. Utilize secure messaging, e-visits, tele-visits, and social media.
  •  Increase patients' access to personal information and self-service capabilities. Patient portals,patient-maintained health records, and personal health records are good strategies.
  • Encourage and support patient self-care ­activities. Examples are greater use of telemedicine, telemonitoring, and mobile health activities.

Patients should be accountable

"Healthcare organizations need to work on engaging patients to be accountable for their own care," Drazen says. "When you think about all the things happening with accountable care, we are holding the payer and provider accountable, but there is nothing holding the patient accountable."

A physician can recommend the right things for a ­patient to improve his or her health and provide the ­necessary tools, but unless the patient engages and uses those tools, the provider cannot achieve the quality scores that will result in improved revenue, Drazen says.

"We have a pretty poor record of engaging patients in their care. Engaging them really is the only way we can be sure we're providing the highest quality of care," she says. "We're moving to the era of outcome measures, where the number of patients with their blood pressure out of control is your number for blood pressure control. You probably have patients who just aren't taking their meds, or patients who don't show up for appointments, and you're still accountable for them."

Stage 2 of meaningful use also includes motivation for patient engagement. In Stage 2, physicians will be judged on how many patients participate in a health improvement effort, rather than how many you offer the tool to, Drazen explains.

One of the most important steps to getting patients involved is to establish a patient portal, which also is ­required for meaningful use, she says.

This portal-a user-friendly way for patients to access your practice online for resources, tools, and information about their care-can encourage patients to more actively engage in their care, Lorincz says.

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1 comments on "Patient Motivation a Must for Accountable Care"


James Pretzer (10/13/2011 at 3:32 PM)
There is a large body of research that highlights a number of things that healthcare providers and healthcare systems can do to enhance patient engagement, treatment adherence, and motivation for change. If the growth of ACOs means that providers get some training in how to get patients to follow through on their treatment recommendations, this would be useful. If it means that healthcare systems take steps to encourage treatment adherence and lifestyle change, that would be even better.