Patient Engagement Amidst Modern Challenges

Dr. Adam Tabriz

Engaging Patients In Their Care Is A Necessity But Having A Modern Digital Logistics That Ensure Cyber Physical Human Role Balance Is A Must!

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Patient engagement is one of the hot topics of discussion among healthcare leaders worldwide. The concept rests on the means of encouraging patients to actively participate in their healthcare, from making decisions to changing behaviors and lifestyles toward a more prolonged and wholesome life.

Patient engagement not only constructs a positive outcome for the patient but also plays a significant driver in lower healthcare costs and improved public health. But, engaging patients is not a straightforward undertaking. It requires understanding the patient's journey at every step of the way. In other words, failure to personalize patient care will ultimately yield poor outcomes and vice versa.

According to many healthcare reform advocates of the 21st century, one can achieve sounder patient engagement through better tools and flexible payment plans. That was proposed based on a recent article published in the June 22nd edition of the Medical Economics Journal.

Some tools useful in patient engagement include technologies that would allow patients to request and set up their appointment schedules, check themselves into the clinic visits, and automated billing and payment system. Although all is well said and done, patient engagement is beyond digitalization and automation of the patient journey. It is more about creating enough options and resources for clinicians and patients to interact continually and get feedback, whether in person, virtual, automated, or driven by direct human hand-holding.

Patient Engagement Requires A Cyber-Physical Human System.

Patient engagement is associated with sundry challenges and barriers. Patient engagement requires understanding and considering the socioeconomic and cultural facets of the patient both by the system and the treating physician. Therefore, the solution solely relying on automation falls short in engaging patients in their health and well-being.

Adequate medical care through patient engagement necessitates a clear communication channel and well-understood patient expectations. We can only witness patient empowerment and encouragement to take on their care actively. It's imperative that the 21st-century patient wants and comprehends the medical decisions and recommendations they receive. Millennials favor understanding their diagnosis and a detailed explanation of their treatment strategy.

Patients' cultural background, education level, socioeconomic state, and motivation are crucial to establishing an apparent rapport with them, hence patient engagement.

Physicians' factors can also be hindering the robust patient engagement process. As I described earlier, modern technology can be a valuable tool for the latter purpose. However, many physicians still have to invest in a technology that facilitates enduring communication between the healthcare team and the patient.

Physicians can feel swamped with the lack of training on such technologies and skills to engage patients. Besides increasing administrative tasks, physicians frequently lack sufficient time to allocate more than 10 or 15 minutes to each patient.

Physicians may lack sufficient plans and systems to obtain patient feedback, as patient opinion is one of the most productive means to evaluate an organization's patient engagement conquest. After all, just providing clinical recommendations to patients will not guarantee patient engagement. Additionally, sustaining doctor-patient connection is impossible without clear communication by considering all the potential barriers associated with the patient and physician side.

A cyber-physical-human healthcare system expands patient engagement with access to user-friendly patient portals. It helps accommodate and coordinate the integration of a critical network of medical devices, sensors, and live hands-on human intervention in a cyber-physical hybrid environment.

The cyber-physical-human system (CPHS) will offer a network where every player in the healthcare domain can create updated health information and submit questions to anyone, including patients and physicians. It enforces a shared collaborated decision-making strategy between patients and physicians.

Workflow automation is called for as long as it underlines the value of human effort without placing an added burden on physicians.

The cyber-physical-human system supports establishing patient trust and understanding their needs and preferences. The system employs every technology, including pertinent instructive materials, literature about treatment options, outcome diagrams, videos, and live chat that helps eventually refine patient decisions on their health and a clearer insight into their care.

Finally, CPHS will provide patients and medical professionals with the necessary support and resources when facing significant challenges.

References

Robert Pearl, M.D., “Physician Burnout Is Increasing; Gender Inequality Is Making It Worse.” Forbes, www.forbes.com, 26 Apr. 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertpearl/2022/04/26/physician-burnout-is-increasing-gender-inequality-is-making-it-worse/?sh=59610c9e6eab.
Voddiraju;, Rajesh, and Rajesh Voddiraju. “Better Patient Engagement.” Medical Economics, www.medicaleconomics.com, 31 May 2022, https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/better-patient-engagement.
Sowe, Sulayman K., et al. “Cyber-Physical Human Systems: Putting People in the Loop — PMC.” PubMed Central (PMC), www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, 21 Jan. 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5453727/.
“Cyber-physical Human Systems: An Introduction to the Special Issue.” Cyberphysical Human Systems: An Introduction to the Special Issue, ieeexplore.ieee.org, https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9258473. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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Adam Tabriz is a Physician, Writer, Entrepreneur, and public health policy, expert. He is an advocate for Personal liberty. The combination of his experience and expertise underlines his passion for advocating true “Personalized Healthcare” and “Healthcare without Borders.” His favorite slogan is: “Peace of mind would come to all people through the universal respect for the basic human rights of everyone”

San Francisco, CA
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