Improving health care outcomes through patient engagement

#5in5_Blog_Banner“Anytime you have a patient that’s more engaged and involved in their care, your outcomes are better.”

That’s a quote from Judy Herrington, who has 30 years’ experience in the health care field and serves as the vice president of nursing, medicine services at Parkland Hospital in Texas.

Her front-line observation echoes the results of numerous surveys and studies and is probably not surprising to others working in health care.

The link between informed patients and better outcomes is growing in significance as more reimbursement models tie payments to quality measurements like hospital-acquired conditions and readmission rates.

“Your chances of hospital-acquired conditions are reduced when the patient is a more informed consumer,” says Herrington. “There’s less of a chance of them having a complication and needing to be cared for again.”

Providers who’ve recognized the link are working toward cultivating a more engaged patient population.

Hospitals and health systems have found success with pilot programs designed to educate and engage certain groups of patients, like those with diabetes or other chronic illnesses. But there’s a need to pass on information to nearly all patients.
Herrington says technology is helping Parkland meet that challenge.

“In the old days we used to educate just face-to-face and then we started giving pieces of paper and you carried them home and now we can give you things electronically,” Herrington.

To discover how Parkland is using technology to reach patients when they are ready to absorb information, check out the latest #5in5. Herrington answers five questions in five minutes on patient education and how it’s evolving.


About the Author:

Leslie Cozatt currently serves as director of Marketing, Optum Provider – Thought Leadership and Content Strategy. She directs the development of content that spotlights the role of data analytics in healthcare – specifically the transition to value-based care, risk management and population Leslie Cozatthealth management. She brings to her role more than 20 years of experience developing B2B and B2C integrated marketing campaigns for companies including ThreeWire, Eliance and 3M. Leslie attended the University of Minnesota and graduated from Wellington College with a BS in international business & communication

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