The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Health IT Playbook

Section 4

Patient Engagement

The ability of individuals to easily and securely access and use their health information electronically serves as one of the cornerstones of nationwide efforts to increase patient and family engagement and advance person-centered health. Patient engagement provides big benefits for your practice and your patients. Those benefits include better:

  • Communication
  • Care
  • Outcomes

Research shows that giving patients access to their clinical information empowers them to increase patient engagement and to improve health outcomes. Health information technology (health IT) is a powerful tool to help you get there — so learn how to make it work for you.

The Patient Engagement Playbook

The Patient Engagement Playbook is a tool for health care providers, practice staff, hospital administrators, and others who want to leverage health IT — starting with electronic health record (EHR) patient portals — to engage patients in their health and care.

The Playbook’s an evolving compilation of tips and best practices we’re collecting from providers and health systems like yours.

Check out the Patient Engagement Playbook

Patient Engagement Playbook. Click to Visit.

In addition to the Patient Engagement Playbook, we’ve developed other health IT tools and resources to increase patient education, awareness, and involvement. The tools also show the value and benefits of patient engagement.

Using Secure Electronic Messaging Fact Sheet

Using Secure Electronic Messaging Fact Sheet

Overview
Fact sheet on using secure electronic messaging to support patient and family engagement

Who it’s for
Providers and support staff

When it’s used
To implement secure messaging to support Stage 2 of Meaningful Use; to communicate benefits to patients or providers, or to address common concerns

Download Using Secure Electronic Messaging Fact Sheet [PDF - 198 KB]

Data Brief: Electronic Capabilities for Patient Engagement among U.S. Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals: 2012-2015

Data Brief: Electronic Capabilities for Patient Engagement among U.S. Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals: 2012-2015

Overview
Research brief on the use of electronic capabilities for patient engagement among U.S. and non-federal Acute Care Hospitals (ACHs)

Who it’s for
Providers in ACH settings and health IT professionals

When it’s used
To plan for using electronic patient-engagement tools

Download Data Brief: Electronic Capabilities for Patient Engagement among U.S. Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals: 2012-2015 [PDF - 860 KB]

Data Brief: Trends in Consumer Access and Use of Electronic Health Information

Data Brief: Trends in Consumer Access and Use of Electronic Health Information

Overview
Research brief on trends in consumer access and use of electronic health information (EHI), gaps in health information exchange, and recommendations to increase awareness and usage

Who it’s for
Providers, policy makers, and health care professionals

When it’s used
To educate about, and plan for, electronic patient-engagement tools

Download Data Brief: Trends in Consumer Access and Use of Electronic Health Information [PDF - 1.2 MB]

Blue Button® Initiative

Overview
Information about the Blue Button® Initiative — a public-private partnership to provide consumers with easy access to their health records in a format they can use

Who it’s for
Health care organizations, health care professionals, and health IT professionals

When it’s used
To plan for, and promote awareness of, patient engagement in health and health care using Blue Button®

Visit Blue Button® Initiative website

How to Optimize Patient Portals for Patient Engagement and Meet Meaningful Use Requirements

How to Optimize Patient Portals for Patient Engagement and Meet Meaningful Use Requirement

Overview
Fact sheet on how to integrate a patient portal into a practice’s operations; explains the link between patient portals and Meaningful Use; provides tips to implement an effective and engaging patient portal

Who it’s for
Providers and health IT implementers

When it’s used
To prepare for meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use objectives

Download How to Optimize Patient Portals for Patient Engagement and Meet Meaningful Use Requirements [PDF - 114 KB]

Patient Engagement Strategies for Providers

Patient Engagement Strategies for Providers

Overview
This interactive document walks providers through strategies they can use to engage patients with health IT

Who it’s for
Primary care providers

When it’s used
To learn about effective patient engagement

Download Patient Engagement Strategies for Providers [PDF - 2.5 MB]

Whiteboard on Health Care Data

Overview
Video about creating systems to help people access their health information more easily

Who it’s for
Patients and health care providers

When it’s used
To plan EHR implementation and to promote patient engagement in health care

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration.

Telecommunication technologies include:

  • Video conferencing
  • The internet
  • Store-and-forward imaging
  • Streaming media
  • Terrestrial and wireless communications

Telehealth differs from telemedicine because it encompasses a broader scope of remote health care services. Telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services. Telehealth, in addition to clinical services, includes remote non-clinical services, such as:

  • Provider training
  • Administrative meetings
  • Continuing medical education

Although people often use telemedicine and telehealth interchangeably, telemedicine refers specifically to interactive health communications with clinicians on both “ends” of the exchange. For example, telemedicine allows you to:

  • Video conference Grand Rounds
  • Transmit X-rays between radiologists
  • Help a remote practitioner present a patient to a specialist for consultation

In addition to telemedicine technologies, telehealth includes direct, electronic patient-to-provider interactions. It also includes medical devices that collect and transmit health information to help monitor or manage chronic conditions. Examples of medical devices include:

  • Smartphone apps
  • Activity trackers
  • Automated reminders
  • Blood glucose monitors

Telehealth consists of these 4 basic methods:

Telehealth Resource Center

Overview
Comprehensive online resource center that provides help, education, and information to organizations and individuals actively providing, or interested in providing, medical care at a distance

Who it’s for
Providers currently offering, or who want to offer, telehealth services

When it’s used
To find resources that help explore or expand the availability of health care to underserved populations

Visit the Telehealth Resource Center website

Telehealth Start-Up and Resource Guide

Telehealth Start-Up and Resource Guide

Overview
This guide provides an overview and framework for implementing telehealth in critical access hospitals (CAHs) and rural areas. It’s also intended to point readers to reliable and informative resources for learning about telehealth and the organizations that support the various ways to use telehealth

Who it’s for
CAHs in rural areas and health IT implementers

When it’s used
To plan and implement telehealth resources

Download Telehealth Start-Up and Resource Guide [PDF - 1.8 MB]

Section 4 Recap

Use health IT to engage patients in their health care.

  • Check out the Patient Engagement Playbook
  • Explore other patient engagement resources
  • Learn more about telehealth

Join the conversation.

Let us know how we can improve and expand on Patient Engagement.

Content last updated on: May 31, 2017