How does patient engagement help your facility? Recent reports have shown a strong correlation between better patient outcomes and involving patients in their own care. And, as patient outcomes improve, your facility will see higher Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements.

Report 1: A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control showed that patient education could be a critical component to lowering the rate of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).1

Report 2: According to the CDC, patients can help prevent the spread of HAIs through proper hand washing and by making sure their healthcare providers are doing the same.2

Report 3: Doctors, patients, hospitals, and health systems are working together to change healthcare and improve patient health. 3

Report 4: A new article from Consumer Reports reveals that 41 percent of Americans are woefully ignorant about the overuse of antibiotics and how this can negatively impact their health.4 With knowledge, patients can become advocates for their own health in regards to antibiotic use.

Lower HAIs through Patient Education and Proper Hand Hygiene

According to the WHO, hand hygiene is the most critical method to avoid the spread of harmful germs and prevent HAIs. A WHO study showed that patient participation was a “useful strategy for improving hand hygiene and creating a positive patient safety climate.”5 Patients need to understand how important hand washing is to their health and become champions of hand hygiene compliance. The results of the American Journal of Infection Control study suggest “that patients are willing to engage with staff members to assist with the prevention of infections while in the hospital setting.” 1

Work with Your Patients to Improve Their Health

A recent HPN Online article discusses how America’s healthcare system is transforming in the wake of healthcare reform. “For decades,” reports the article, “doctors have been paid to perform procedures, not practice prevention or improve care coordination. And too many patients have not understood the power they hold to improve their own health.” 3

All of that is changing. Patients are now taking a more active approach to their own health, and, in trying to save costs, healthcare systems are getting involved as well. According to the article, healthcare facilities and health systems are testing groundbreaking methods to ensure patients are following up with their own care. Some are asking care providers to stay in touch with patients to make sure they “fill their prescriptions, make physician appointments, and follow their care plans.” Doctors are sharing success stories of patients who take an active role in improving their health through healthy lifestyle changes vs. those who continue down the path of ill health.3

Educate Patients on Antibiotics

If patients understand how antibiotics work, they can help reduce the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections. In a special report, Consumer Reports gives consumers (aka patients) tips on how to make sure antibiotics are only being used when necessary:6

  1. Don’t push for antibiotics.
  2. Ask whether you can fight it off on your own.
  3. Request targeted drugs.
  4. Use antibiotic creams sparingly.
  5. Avoid infections in the first place.

We All Play a Role in Creating a Safe Environment

For too long, hospitals have had an unfair burden in solving HAIs. At IntelliCentrics, we understand everyone plays a role in keeping patients safe! With our service, you have the capability to engage with every individual who enters your facility from doctors to patient guests to make sure they are well informed and understand the part they play. By improving patient outcomes through patient engagement, everybody wins! The patient gets to enjoy a healthier life and your facility benefits from fewer readmissions, better patient outcomes, and higher reimbursements.

Sources:

  1. http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/patient-engagement-in-hai-reduction-strategies-3-takeaways.html
  2. http://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/Basics.html
  3. http://www.hpnonline.com/dailyupdates/July_15-2.html#6-5
  4. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/07/what-is-antibiotic-resistance-and-why-should-i-care/index.htm
  5. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/hand_hygiene_20130503/en/
  6. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/health/the-rise-of-superbugs/index.htm

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