Patient engagement requires trust, tools and a personal touch to succeed

Providers must establish a respectful relationship with patients if they want to have a positive impact on behavior. Technology can help but it’s not a substitute for reaching people where they live and work.

By Mike Miliard

May 20, 2016

Despite all the conversation around it these past few years, the fact remains that patient engagement can be somewhat amorphous. Pinning down just what works and developing effective strategies for managing specific populations, can be a challenge.

At Healthcare IT News' Pop Health Forum 2016 on Friday, a panel of experts shared their perspectives creating smart engagement programs. A common theme? Technology is a useful facilitator, but no replacement for old-fashioned face-to-face contact.

"If we expect to have an impact on patient behaviors, they need to have trust," said Jodi Frei, manager of organizational informatics at St. Albans, Vermont-based Northwestern Medical Center. "You establish that trust at the point of care."

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