COVID-19 pandemic is still significantly affecting every aspect of our lives and access to healthcare is no different. Once again, hospitals are reporting an increasing number of COVID-related hospitalizations, leading to less capacity for other patients needing medical treatment. Unfortunately, there are many patients in need of medical care for other, non-COVID-related, conditions and injuries. While it is unavoidable for in-person attention for certain situations/conditions, many non-critical cases can easily be handled via telehealth. In this scenario, for both providers and patients, patient engagement and adherence to the treatment plan are critical for achieving the best clinical outcomes and avoiding unnecessary readmissions.
Why is patient adherence and engagement so important? Patients who are not involved in their care decisions have a 34% higher rate of readmission than the ones that are involved.1 Getting patients involved in their treatment and explaining the details of their conditions sounds like a simple task, however, in real life, it is not always like that. Each patient and each condition are unique – other than the need for providers to implement different technologies to support the recovery and treatment from the distance, they also need to consider the individual needs of the patient to achieve the best results. Vivadox team has highlighted the following considerations when it comes to increasing patient engagement:
Understand patients’ needs and preferences. It is important that the provider spends the time building a trusting relationship with the patient and understanding their preferences, habits, goals, and abilities. For example, not every patient will be tech-savvy enough to access the patient portal on their own, but they may be comfortable with instructions and reminders in the form of text messages. Some patients may be additionally motivated to recover if they have a unique, personal goal, for example, to be able to run and play with their grandchildren. By understanding your patient beyond their condition and truly listening and incorporating their unique needs into the treatment plans, the chances that the patient will comply and stay engaged are higher.
Educate patients in ways they can understand. It is not rare that patients do not have a full understanding of their condition, or of the consequences that may occur if they do not comply with the prescribed recovery plan. Often, they hear a lot of medical jargon and get lost in the explanation. Based on the patient’s background, it is important that providers find a way to explain the important things in a language patients can easily understand. Provide simplified explanations and break them down in a way that is understandable to the patient. In addition, provide additional resources and materials that the patient can access and refer to at a later time. When patients have a good understanding of risks and facts, they are more likely to comply.
Monitor and follow up frequently. Remote monitoring devices and solutions allow providers to see patient readings in real-time, get a more complete picture of one’s health, and make informed treatment decisions. Providers can be alerted if any reading is concerning, bringing attention to the at-risk patients. When the patients see that you are frequently reviewing their data and making changes to their care plan that really does make a difference in their recovery and well-being, they are more likely to stay engaged in the process and comply with the prescribed treatment plan.
Introduce easy-to-use tools and resources for remote care. At Vivadox, we understand the complexity and importance of patient engagement. Our HIPAA compliant remote patient monitoring platform combines best practices to increase patient engagement and allow for individualized and customized care delivery. Vivadox allows you to select devices and set up reading times for your patients while also customizing how they hear from you based on their preferences. Vivadox RPM comes with an easy-to-use patient portal that allows patients to view their devices and readings, make notes, and access reliable resources written in plain language understandable to all. If you are interested in learning more about Vivadox remote patient monitoring solution, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kemp, Kyle A.; Quan, Hude; and Santana, Maria J. (2017) “Lack of patient involvement in care decisions and not receiving written discharge instructions are associated with unplanned readmissions up to one year,” Patient Experience Journal: Vol. 4 : Iss. 2 , Article 4. https://pxjournal.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1205&context=journal