• 21May

    New research on ‘business case’ for increasing patient involvement

    An article on the Health Affairs website has highlighted recent research presenting evidence that increased patient engagement is associated with reduced healthcare spending.

    The study, published in the March 2015 edition of the Health Affairs Journal (by Jessica Greene et al; subscription required) examined the extent to which a single assessment of engagement, the Patient Activation Measure, was associated with health outcomes and costs over time.

    The study used data on adult primary care patients from a single large health care system where the Patient Activation Measure is routinely used.

    It found that results indicating higher activation in 2010 were associated with nine out of thirteen better health outcomes — including better clinical indicators, more healthy behaviours, and greater use of women’s preventive screening tests — as well as with lower costs two years later.

    The authors conclude that the findings suggest that efforts to increase patient activation may help achieve key goals of health reform and that further research is warranted to examine whether the observed associations are causal.

    The article also references a study in Minnesota engaged patients are more likely to comply with their treatment and seek preventative care, and are less inclined to engage in unhealthy behaviours. It moves on to consider the role of shared decision making, social marketing, data and electronic medic records in increasing patient engagement.

    The article can be read here.