Healthcare has its own set of buzzwords and phrases. Some are helpful to use in a hospital or emergency setting, where time is critical and long explanations only slow things down. The independent physician who sees patients every day, and who is now learning how to transition to value-based care, also uses a unique set of terms within the practice.
Patient engagement itself is a phrase that has become more popular and more important in today’s healthcare environment. What does patient engagement mean? When the provider encourages patients to become more involved in their own healthcare plan and is open to communication with patients before, during, and after each visit, those patients become more engaged and outcomes are more successful.
What are some other important terms, related to patient engagement, that the independent physician needs to know? PatientEngagementHIT.com has identified five terms that are important for the independent physician transitioning to value-based care.
Chronic Disease Management. Patients with chronic conditions generally require more extensive care, including coordination with multiple providers, lab tests, and medications. Independent physicians using electronic health records (EHRs) can encourage patients to access their visit summaries and critical health information. Engaging patients in managing their medications, behaviors, and activities can prevent chronic conditions from becoming more serious.
Patient Experience. The overall patient experience, including all of the interactions with the physician and staff during a visit, can be assessed to determine the quality of that care experience for the patient. The measure of patient experience “examines whether a provider did things that constitute a quality visit.”
Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMS). Patients who have undergone a procedure can engage with the provider by reporting on the quality of their outcomes. With an understanding, related by the patient, of how the procedure impacted the patient’s well-being, the independent physician can better gauge the quality of the procedure itself.
Risk Stratification. Identifying the risk levels of each patient can be used to “determine their care efforts, including patient engagement efforts.” Patients may be considered a higher risk because of a chronic condition or because of an unhealthy home environment.
Social Determinants of Health. As Patient Engagement HIT reports, available research “suggests that 80 percent of patient health is influenced by the social determinants of health.” Social determinants include factors such as socioeconomic status, education, employment, and home environment. Independent physicians transitioning to value-based care can “leverage social determinant data to help care for patient social needs and ultimately drive better outcomes at a lower cost.”