HealthTech Terms Explained: Patient Engagement

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HealthTech Terms Explained: Patient Engagement

Get SigmaOS Free

It's free and super easy to set up

HealthTech Terms Explained: Patient Engagement

Get SigmaOS Free

It's free and super easy to set up

HealthTech Terms Explained: Patient Engagement

In the healthcare industry, patient engagement has become a buzzword. But what exactly does it mean, and why is it so important? Let's dive in to better understand this concept and explore some of the HealthTech solutions available to improve patient engagement.

Understanding Patient Engagement

Patient engagement is a fundamental aspect of modern healthcare that aims to empower patients and improve their health outcomes. It refers to the collaboration between healthcare providers and patients to actively participate in treatment decisions and managing one's own healthcare.

By giving patients access to information and the tools they need to make informed decisions, patient engagement enables them to take charge of their own health. This, in turn, leads to better health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs.

Definition of Patient Engagement

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) define patient engagement as "actions individuals must take to obtain the greatest benefit from the healthcare services available to them." Essentially, this means that patient engagement involves taking an active role in one's own healthcare and working collaboratively with healthcare providers to achieve optimal health outcomes.

The Importance of Patient Engagement in Healthcare

Patient engagement is becoming increasingly important in modern healthcare because it has been shown to improve patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs, and increase patient satisfaction. Patients who are engaged in their own healthcare are more likely to adhere to treatment plans, track symptoms, and communicate effectively with healthcare providers. This, in turn, leads to fewer complications and hospital readmissions, as well as higher levels of patient satisfaction.

Moreover, patient engagement can help to address healthcare disparities and improve health equity. By empowering patients with the tools and information they need to manage their own health, patient engagement can help to reduce the impact of social determinants of health and improve health outcomes for marginalized populations.

Key Components of Patient Engagement

There are several key components that contribute to patient engagement, including:

  1. Access to health information: Patients need access to accurate, comprehensive, and understandable health information to make informed decisions about their health. This includes information about their conditions, treatment options, and potential outcomes.

  2. Open communication with healthcare providers: Effective communication between patients and healthcare providers is essential for patient engagement. Patients should feel comfortable asking questions, expressing concerns, and sharing information with their healthcare providers.

  3. Participation in treatment decisions: Patients should be involved in the decision-making process when it comes to their healthcare. This means that they should have a say in the treatment options that are offered to them and be able to make informed decisions about their care.

  4. Self-management of health conditions: Patients should be empowered to manage their own health conditions to the best of their abilities. This may involve tracking symptoms, adhering to treatment plans, and making lifestyle changes to improve their health outcomes.

By focusing on these key components, healthcare providers can help to promote patient engagement and improve health outcomes for their patients.

HealthTech Solutions for Patient Engagement

HealthTech companies recognize the benefits of patient engagement and have developed a wide range of solutions to promote it. Here are some of the most commonly used solutions:

Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

An electronic health record is a digital version of a patient's medical history. EHRs allow patients to access their own health information and stay informed about their medical conditions. They also improve communication between healthcare providers, reducing the likelihood of medical errors and improving the quality of care.

With the use of EHRs, patients can easily access their medical records and update their health information. This makes it easier for healthcare providers to have a complete view of the patient's medical history, including past diagnoses, medications, and allergies. EHRs also allow healthcare providers to share patient information with other providers, improving coordination of care and reducing the risk of duplicate testing.

Patient Portals

A patient portal is a secure website that allows patients to access their health information, communicate with healthcare providers, schedule appointments, and even pay bills online. Patient portals improve the convenience of healthcare by giving patients 24/7 access to their healthcare information.

Patient portals also allow patients to communicate with their healthcare providers outside of office hours. Patients can send messages to their providers, ask questions, and request prescription refills. This can save patients time and reduce the need for in-person visits. Additionally, patient portals can improve patient satisfaction by giving patients more control over their healthcare.


Telemedicine is the use of communication technologies to provide healthcare services remotely. Telemedicine solutions, such as video appointments, enable patients to access healthcare from their own homes, reducing travel time and improving convenience. Additionally, it allows healthcare providers to offer more frequent check-ins, improving patient outcomes.

Telemedicine has become increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it allows patients to receive healthcare services while minimizing the risk of exposure to the virus. Telemedicine can also be particularly useful for patients who live in rural areas or have mobility issues.

Mobile Health Apps

Mobile health apps are software applications designed to help patients manage their own health. These apps allow patients to track their symptoms, access educational materials, set reminders for medications, and even monitor their progress over time. Mobile health apps are particularly useful for patients managing chronic conditions.

Mobile health apps can help patients take a more active role in their healthcare, allowing them to track their progress and make informed decisions about their health. Additionally, mobile health apps can provide patients with personalized recommendations based on their health data, helping them to make lifestyle changes that can improve their health.

Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote patient monitoring allows healthcare providers to track patients' health data remotely, often through wearable devices or sensors. This can help healthcare providers detect potential complications early and adjust treatment plans accordingly. Additionally, remote patient monitoring can save patients time and money by reducing the need for frequent in-person visits.

Remote patient monitoring can be particularly useful for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. By monitoring their health data regularly, healthcare providers can detect changes in their condition and adjust their treatment plan accordingly, potentially preventing hospitalizations or other complications.

Strategies to Improve Patient Engagement

While HealthTech solutions can be helpful, there are also several strategies healthcare providers can employ to improve patient engagement. Here are some examples:

Enhancing Communication Between Patients and Providers

Healthcare providers can improve patient engagement by ensuring open, two-way communication. This means actively listening to patients' concerns and providing clear explanations of treatment plans.

Providing Access to Personal Health Information

Patient engagement improves when patients have access to their own health information. Healthcare providers can improve engagement by providing timely access to test results, medical records, and other important health information.

Encouraging Patient Involvement in Decision-Making

Patients who are involved in treatment decisions are more likely to remain engaged in their own healthcare. Healthcare providers should provide patients with information on treatment options and encourage them to ask questions and share their opinions.

Offering Educational Resources and Support

Patient engagement is improved when patients have access to educational resources, support groups, and other forms of peer support. Healthcare providers should provide patients with information on community resources and support networks.


Patient engagement is critical for improving patient outcomes, reducing healthcare costs, and increasing patient satisfaction. Healthcare providers can leverage HealthTech solutions like EHRs, patient portals, telemedicine, mobile health apps, and remote patient monitoring to improve engagement. At the same time, utilizing communication, personal health information access, decision-making involvement, and educational resources can encourage patients to take control of their own healthcare and strive for better outcomes.