Statistics continue to show that patients who are actively involved in their own health and healthcare achieve better outcomes and have lower health costs than those patients who are not actively engaged.
Being able to engage patients and provide wellness offerings presents a big challenge for healthcare providers. Since engagement is really about improving understanding, communication, delivery, consumption, retention and compliance, it becomes the responsibility of – everyone involved in the individual’s well-being – the patient and his or her healthcare provider.
Indicator #6: Ability to Engage Patients
‘Ability to Engage Patients’ is our sixth performance indicator. Overall, Iowa employers give statewide hospitals an un-weighted score of 6.7, or a grade of ‘C’ when assessing their ability to engage patients. When segmented into five regions using size-weighted scores, four regions received ‘D’ grades, with the southeast region scoring lowest at 5.3. The northwest region received a ‘C’ grade, outpacing the other four regions within Iowa.
Indicator #7: Focus on Wellness & Health Promotion
A major trend within the employer community, both in Iowa and nationally, is workplace health and wellness promotion. Having a healthy and productive workforce requires a renewed focus to ensure a supportive environment for the safety, physical and mental well-being of employees and family members.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is directing hospitals to focus on getting and keeping people well or face serious financial penalties. As a result, hospitals must look to expand the continuum of care in the future, which includes developing and maintaining wellness offerings within their communities.
Similar to ‘engaging patients,’ Iowa employers have graded statewide hospitals an identical grade of ‘C’ for this seventh performance indicator. When looking at the five regions, the map below is virtually a mirror of the map above. Despite the burgeoning wellness trend in Iowa, employers feel hospitals are falling short in providing them this important resource.
Being able to engage patients to be more active in their health and offering wellness resources go hand-in-hand. These two latest performance indicators reveal that improvements are, indeed, necessary. They can help hospitals identify new opportunities to provide valuable resources to community populations.
As we continue our “Voices on Hospitals” series, next week we’ll review our ‘Efficiency’ and ‘Coordination of Care’ performance indicators.
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