by Amanda Larson
Patient activation means engaging with patients to motivate them to play an active role in their healthcare, rather than relying solely on medical directions.
Patient activation occurs in the later steps of the patient journey which involve behavioral or lifestyle changes, scheduling ongoing care, and being proactive about one’s health.
The importance of patient activation
Because they focus on following medical advice and adopting management plans, the medical results of activated patients out-perform those of non-activated patients after treatment. In other words, activated patients stay healthier.
Patients who have been “activated” by their healthcare provider are more likely to avoid hospitalization or re-hospitalization after discharge. Activated patients also know what procedures to follow to prevent complications. This lowers their risk of emergency room visits for non-urgent issues.
Those with low activation tend to push off medical visits and not seek help until it’s urgent. This reactive approach puts unnecessary pressure on medical professionals compared to an activated patient who might notice symptoms earlier on and require less drastic treatment.
Activated patients have the knowledge and skills to make informed medical decisions. They also have the confidence to make those choices.
Another reason to prioritize patient activation at your practice is that the US government is moving toward value-based care for payment. The government is starting to pay providers based on the quality (rather than the quantity) of care they provide.
How to increase patient activation
There are many things you can do to promote patient activation and help support people in managing their healthcare.
Many of the strategies available to you relate to healthcare digital transformation since technology makes activating patients easier.
Most importantly, to “activate” your patients, you must educate them. A great option for secure patient outreach is Paubox Marketing, which allows you to send HIPAA compliant email campaigns which contain PHI directly to your patients’ inboxes.
With Paubox Marketing, you can target various patient populations and educate each group with the skills and knowledge they need, such as risk factors based on their age or chronic health conditions.
Email marketing campaigns can be a smart and effective way to activate your patients and in turn, improve patient outcomes.
Patient activation and COVID-19
In a worldwide pandemic, it is more critical than ever to engage and communicate with your patients. Activating your patients will help them remain informed and encourage them to follow the best practices you advise, especially those that are COVID-19 related.
Health providers are reacting to COVID-19 differently, but many are using Paubox Marketing to communicate with their patients about the status of their practices, official health recommendations, and telemedicine options.
In addition, if you are a nonprofit that offers services to the general public, FEMA will reimburse 75% of any expenses incurred while communicating general health and safety guidelines regarding the virus.
Paubox Marketing is a simple solution to stay in touch and protect your patients from coronavirus while ensuring your practice remains HIPAA compliant.