Patient engagement is about empowering patients and encouraging them to take a positive role in managing their own health.
GPs are recognising patients as consumers and are keen to create a culture of engagement. GP practices are using online engagement programmes in partnership with patients to help them manage their care.
Top 10 digital patient engagement facts
1. GP surgeries – almost every GP surgery in England now offers a basic range of services online, according to new figures from NHS England (May 2015).
2. Online services – data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) found that over 97% of patients in England have access to online services, compared to 3% in April 2014.
3. Patient guidance – The Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) has provided UK doctors guidance (‘Patient Online’) to help them provide online services for their patients to supplement their traditional care.
4. Internet access – 10 million people do not have access to the internet in England and 4 million of these people, potentially patients are the most socially and economically disadvantaged.
5. Patients in need – those over the age of 65 account for more than half of NHS spending but 36 % have never been online before.
6. NHS challenge – the government wants the NHS to go paperless by 2018, this is to include email referrals and for patient’s electronic health care records to be securely linked.
7. Telehealth saving money – already in England 24/7 home iPad and webcam telehealth for respiratory and cardiac patients dramatically reduce GP appointments, hospital admissions and improve clinical outcomes saving substantial costs.
8. Embracing technology – a report by Accenture found nearly 70% of those aged 65+ said technology is important to managing their health.
9. Patient self-tracking – 27% of UK senior citizens are already self-tracking some aspect of health, patients who make decisions for their care own are becoming more actively involved.
10. Patient health apps – a study published by Heart Rhythm revealed that iPhone self-tracking apps are sensitive and accurate enough to detect an abnormal pulse and so help reduce the risk of a stroke developing.
Fully engaged patients who have two-way digital communication with their healthcare team are more connected and can actively contribute to their continual care plan. Share your patient engagement thoughts below or on Twitter.