Patient Engagement and Patient Experience at the Inaugural HealthIT Expo

Jim Gilbert
May 30, 2018

Patient Engagement and Patient Experience at the Inaugural HealthIT Expo

Patient engagement and patient experience are popular themes common at most healthcare conferences. Some speakers tout the importance of engaging with patients and improving patient engagement to improve outcomes. While others talk about the importance of the patient experience but not about patient engagement. Nearly every vendor claims their product or service will increase patient engagement and/or enhance the patient experience. And in one session at the recent HLTH Future of Healthcare forum in Las Vegas, ‘patient engagement’ was identified as The Most Un-Buzzworthy Word of 2018. So it’s not hard to see that the phrases patient engagement and patient experience can be somewhat confusing.

Patient Engagement and Patient Experience – There is a Difference

But what are the differences between patient engagement and patient experience? Not surprisingly, an article titled The Difference Between Patient Experience and Patient Engagement defines the difference between Patient Engagement and Patient Experience – and provides some examples:

Patient Experience:

  • How easy or hard it is to get an appointment with a provider
  • How much time the provider spends listening to the patient and answering questions
  • How cold or warm, loud or quiet the waiting room is
  • How the other patients are being treated by office staff

Patient Engagement:

  • Patients and their families participating in health education, health literacy, and wellness activities
  • Patients who access and use online personal health records
  • Patients who adhere to their care plans
  • Patients who participate in feedback initiatives

Patient Engagement and Patient Experience at HITExpo

Several sessions at the inaugural HealthIT Expo conference taking place in New Orleans Wednesday, 5/30 through Friday, June 1st aim to help HITExpo attendees to understand the opportunities, challenges and issues related to the commonalities and differences between patient engagement and patient experience.

After Amanda Greene’s keynote address titled ‘Sharing, Caring and Patient Engagement: Using Social Media to Connect and Build your Community,’ there will be five sessions addressing patient engagement and patient experience in some fashion:

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Benefits and Challenges of Creating a Consistent Patient Experience Through Multiple Interaction

10:45 AM – 11:30 AM with Grace Cordovano, Kurt Essenmacher, Marla Armstrong, and Sarah Bennight

EMPI and Patient Matching Panel

01:30 PM – 2:15 PM with Rachel Podczervinski, Shahzad Ahmad, and Steve Kotyk

Patient Experience Panel (with Murray Izenwasser, CMO, VP Strategy and Digital Solutions for AAJ Technologies)

03:20 PM – 4:05 PM with Grace Cordovano, Ken Honeycutt, Murray Izenwasser, and Spencer Kubo, MD

Check out this post for more about the Patient Experience Panel at the HealthIT Expo Conference

How to Win Patients with a Consumer-grade Contact Center Experience

04:10 PM – 4:55 PM with Mike Wisz and Melissa Baker

Friday, June 1, 2018

Connecting to Better Care: Engaging At-home / At-risk Patients with a Virtual Care Communication Platform

01:20 PM – 2:05 PM with Lee Horner

Check out the agenda for the inaugural HealthIT Expo

Considerations About Patient Engagement and Patient Experience

Regardless as to any major or minor differences between patient engagement and patient experience, there are several general considerations that impact the experience we have as patients and the level at which we may engage as patients.

  1. Six Stages of Experience and Engagement

We all go through six general stages when seeking improved healthcare and each stage offers opportunities for an enhanced experience and the ability to engage:

Performing research on symptoms

Appointment – First point of contact for help

Diagnosis: Assessment of Health Condition


Behavioral/Lifestyle Change

Ongoing Care/Proactive Health

  1. What Creates a Good Experience or Increases Engagement May Not Sustain Either

A recent analysis of the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council Survey on Patient Engagement: Driving and Sustaining Behavior Change reveals that certain methods and approaches effective for initiating patient engagement may not be effective for sustaining patient engagement. Likewise, what provides a good experience for one patient may fail to do so in another patient.

  1. Leverage and Build on Lessons from Other Disciplines

Healthcare organizations pushing for increased patient engagement should use lessons from behavioral psychology, user-centered design and other fields to address past mistakes and deploy second-generation engagement tools.

  1. Importance of Social Determinants of Health

Natural language processing and other technologies promise the ability to enhance the patient experience through integration with the social determinants of health data that reveal patient risk factors.

  1. Better bidirectional messaging with members of a patient’s care team is a next-generation feature of patient engagement technology.
  2. Three factors make patient engagement tools compelling

In a recent article titled “Providers aim to build engagement tools that actually work,” Dr. Joseph Kvedar, VP of Connected Health at Partners HealthCare three factors that help make connected health tools compelling:

Make it about life. “If my communication to you is, ‘You’ll have a heart attack in 10 years if you don’t get your high blood pressure under control,’ that’s much less compelling than focusing on relevant, near-term goals like being more productive at your job”

Keep it personal. Algorithms can pull in many types of data (e.g., location, weather, wearable data) to send personal motivational messages to patients.

Include a social element. Known as the sentinel effect, most people try harder to achieve health outcomes when they know they’re being monitored, particularly by someone whose opinion they care about, such as a physician or family member.

  1. Weave engagement into our daily routine and lifestyle

In a recent article, Startup Health president and co-founder Unity Stoakes said that in ten years, he’d like to see ‘healthcare become invisible and designed into our lifestyle in ways that we don’t register.” Stoakes went on to say that “This can be woven into the fabric of our everyday existence through our cars to refrigerators to clothes. That’s where there’s an opportunity for incremental behavior change to happen.”

It will be interesting to learn how the speakers presenting in the above – and other sessions – at the HealthIT Expo describe opportunities, challenges and issues associated with enhancing patient experience and improving patient engagement.

Patient Engagement and Patient Experience Secrets Revealed at the Inaugural Health IT Expo

Whether you are attending the HealthIT Expo in New Orleans or following along virtually, be sure to stay tuned to the #HITExpo hashtag and the @AAJTech Twitter account. The #HITExpo Twitter stream will be monitored for those watching live and sharing their comments, questions, and insights.

In addition, by following the #HITExpo hashtag and the @AAJTech Twitter account you’ll be privy to some special information AAJ Technologies will be sharing during the event. Be sure to also check back here after the HITExpo event for a recap of the overall event proceedings and in particular the Patient Experience Panel that Murray Izenwasser will be participating in Thursday, May 31st at 3:20PM.

Jim Gilbert

ABOUT Jim Gilbert

Jim Gilbert is the Content Marketing Manager for AAJ Technologies. Jim is a 20 year digital marketing veteran, lecturer, author and former adjunct professor. He is also a 3 term past President of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. When not at AAJ, you can find him spending time with his family, biking around South Florida or enjoying some live music. You can reach Jim at: jim.gilbert@aajtech.com

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