Many revolutionizing factors in healthcare are taking the concern of why patient care is important and transforming the current system in place for the better. This allows for patients to turn into consumers of their health and be more engaged, and at the same time, allows for the physicians, specialists and nurses to personalize healthcare and help patients be better consumers.
In the digital world, healthcare systems are transforming to bring better care methods to their patients.
In an era of telemedicine, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and more technological advances, patients are no longer just considered patients but consumers of their health. Most patients are looking for better practices and methods to help keep them engaged and informed with their health. The main points behind patients being treated as consumers:
Making the healthcare expectations and language simple and easier to understand. This helps to create better healthcare literacy for patients.
Ensuring that messages and communication can be tailored to the patient.
The understanding that any healthcare policies and changes are put in place to help the patient
Making sure that all patients have a support system.
As patients continue to be more like consumers in their health, all healthcare systems need to help patients with healthcare literacy and allow them to be engaged in their health.
One of the biggest concerns right now in healthcare is rural health. In these smaller, rural communities there are fewer specialists and physicians which means patients have to make appointments months in advance and drive hours to see a specialist. In return, this discourages patients from being consumers in their health but telemedicine and other advances in technology could change this.
Another way rural hospitals can help patients become better consumers is with expansions. The Methodist Healthcare System is expanding to rural areas to bring more specialists, telemedicine and better programs to rural communities.
This has started with the Fremont Health Partnership. The expansion is allowing more specialists to be present, increasing healthcare technology, expanding IT services and more. All of these changes will help patients become better consumers in the future.
As this continues to expand, more and more hospitals are understanding the importance of telemedicine or telehealth practices in a digital healthcare era.
The most common notion behind telemedicine is the ability to provide mobile healthcare with videos, live chats and messaging. This helps patients be engaged in their health by keeping appointments, allowing them to ask questions, skip drives, skip waiting periods and other common healthcare problems that occur.
Methodist Healthcare understand why patient care is important and is implementing telemedicine practices for their patients. This is part of their outreach strategies to keep patients as engaged consumers.
A patient can use live video chats to reach their specialists. One patient states, “it’s just like he’s actually there. It’s not any different than having a regular doctor’s appointment.” When it comes down to this, it allows for a better outreach program, healthcare practices, more engaged patients and better patient care methods which can all add a personal touch.
One of the biggest items that patients are seeking is a personal touch in their healthcare journey. A personal touch makes it feel as if the physician, general practice or other healthcare employee actually care about the patient’s health.
As AJMC speaks about this importance: centering benefits to meet the needs of individuals motivate and establish a primary-care relationship, which in return, has patients seek appropriate care, whether that be preventive, diagnostic, acute or maintenance care from a high-quality provider when it’s needed.
This encourages patients to keep their regular appointments, seek out treatment when needed and understand that their physician, specialist or healthcare systems understands and cares about them.
As these strategies are put in place and patients change their consumer habits, this will help change current patient centered care methods and practices for the better. A health patient is an engaged one.
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