• 19Feb

    New report argues patient engagement key to improved outcomes and reduced costs

    Thinktank Reform has published a report on ‘expert patients’, exploring how patients can be more engaged in their health and more involved in their healthcare.

    This report presents four case studies of successful patient engagement to argue that greater patient engagement could both improve outcomes and reduce costs:

    • The Vitality programme provides incentives for healthy behaviour in South Africa, the UK and the USA. Members earn “points” for taking part in gym sessions, enrolling in smoking cessation programmes and buying healthy foods in partner supermarkets.
    • Personal health budgets, in the UK and overseas, have led to better health and wellbeing. They improved value for money due to reduced demand for hospital and GP services and better negotiation over prices with providers.
    • Introduced by Kaiser Permanente, Health Connect is an online portal which enables patients to email clinicians, view personal health information, schedule appointments and take online health assessments. Patients have reported greater confidence and success in self-management as a result.
    • PatientsLikeMe is a US-based online community which enables patients to meet others with similar conditions and share their experience. One review found that patients better adhered to medication and needed fewer visits to A&E as a result.

    This report estimates that stronger patient engagement could lead to savings of nearly £2 billion by 2020-21, i.e. around 10 per cent of the NHS England target saving. The savings would comprise more self care, improved public health, and greater patient contribution to their care, such as a diabetic measuring their own blood sugar levels.

    The full report can be read here.