It’s become apparent that patient engagement is critical when it comes to success and quality of care. Not only does it improve the relationship between provider and patient, but there’s also a visible increase of successful outcomes. To improve the connection between discharged patients and health providers, there are several steps that health care industries can take.
It’s clear that time is restricted in a hospital setting and educating patients may be put at low priority. However, the outcomes of patient knowledge are long lasting and need to be taken into consideration.
The first step to helping a patient is to provide them with information. No matter the reason a patient is admitted to a hospital, there’s typically some unease and confusion. To provide some clarity, it’s important for both the patient and their family to clearly understand their condition. If there is a lack of understanding, the patient may fail to show up to any follow-up appointments or follow a prescription schedule, simply because they don’t see the necessity. Before attempting to educate a patient, health providers must first evaluate how willing they are to learn and what method of education is best for them. Alternate methods of education such as printed instructions, videos or demonstrations may be most beneficial depending on the patient.
Before patients leave the hospital, it’s important to make sure that both they and their family are committed to following treatment plans. Patients leaving the hospital may require varying levels of assistance from executing treatments to something as simple as encouraging healthy decisions. When family is involved in the post-discharge process, it’s important for them to know what exactly the health plan calls for as well as their individual roles within the plan. When everyone is motivated and dedicated, the patient has a better chance to meet recovery expectations.
When it comes time for discharge, sometimes patients can feel overwhelmed by decisions that need to be made. Looking for a post-acute care provider can be a long process and can be frustrating if patients aren’t actively involved in the decisions. Improved technology is an asset in today’s healthcare field and can be used to give patients empowerment. Care coordination technology can be used to put patients in direct contact with post-acute care providers, leading to a quick process of information gathering and questions being answered. This cuts down greatly on the time it takes to find a post-acute care provider, so patients won’t be forced to unnecessarily prolong their hospital stay while making a decision.
Once the patient has transferred to a post-acute setting, the need for open communication is heightened. This is a time where patients may become confused on treatments or find themselves slipping into old unhealthy habits. With improved technology, support can be offered to patients through platforms like social media or phone apps, sending reminders or answering any questions. Through this technology, healthcare providers can also monitor patient recovery and make sure they’re on track. This ensures that health providers will have the ability to intervene quickly if needed to prevent any emergencies.