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UnitedHealth Exec Offers 5 Tips on Patient Engagement

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, August 14, 2013

To activate change, he says, "you have to be precise in targeting the amount of information" to where the patient is on the continuum. For example, someone early in the continuum probably is not ready to activate change. Sandy says providing specific information and details at this point "will just go over their head."

4.Look beyond the medical model
The task to help people improve their health is not only within the confines of the physician-patient relationship. "We think that there are many other ways that other stakeholders can play a role in enhancing health."

For example, UnitedHealth has developed a model with the YMCA for a community-based weight management program for families. Join for Me began in 2010 and is now underway in 10 communities. It is an incentive that employers can offer to their workforce that is delivered at the community level rather than through the medical care system.

5.Keep tweaking
Implementing successful patient engagement requires ongoing refinement. Sandy says it is important to experiment and try new things especially as technology evolves and "new opportunities for engagement" present themselves.


Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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