If you work in healthcare, you probably know that U.S. News & World Report recently announced its Best Hospitals list for 2018–’19. The company evaluates more than 5,000 hospitals and awards winners in a variety of categories and specialties.
While some debate the list’s merit, hospital leaders and healthcare consumers surely pay attention to the rankings. And they should. The list is part of a bigger picture. It rewards hospitals that achieve lower costs and better patient outcomes.
For our part, we were thrilled that hospitals using innovative patient engagement solutions are being honored among this year’s “Best Hospitals.”
3 Keys to Better Patient Engagement
Healthcare leaders at the top hospitals are focusing on programs that drive value enterprise-wide, as they work to transition from fee-for-service to value-based care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has challenged hospitals to move 90% of traditional Medicare payments into value-based reimbursement, through accountable care organizations, bundled payments or hospital quality programs, by the end of 2018.
Patient engagement technology – also known as patient activation – is one of the ways that hospitals are making this transition.
And while these hospitals define value differently across various service lines (i.e. shorter length of stay for total joint replacement, fewer C-sections in maternal health, etc.), there are several commonalities:
- Engaging patients outside the hospital, on mobile devices that patients carry 24/7.
- Engaging patients earlier – and throughout the entire episode of care – from before a hospital stay through discharge and recovery.
- Engaging patients through direct patient activation – a method that says you must activate patients before you can educate, engage and satisfy them.
The best hospitals recognize that to impact clinical outcomes, you need to reach patients outside the hospital walls and engage them as partners in their care. That impact is amplified when your outreach begins early in the care journey and focuses on education, engagement and the patient experience. Some of the “Best Hospitals” honored by U.S. News are doing just that.