ANN ARBOR, Mich.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--There is a growing body of evidence to illustrate that patients who are more actively involved in their health care experience have better health outcomes and incur lower costs, according to a recent issue of Health Affairs.
“Having a tool to measure consumer engagement in a population is critically important to inform strategy, tailor communications, and monitor change in engagement over time”
Health information technology can improve the quality of the health care experience and strengthen the interaction between patients and health care providers. Altarum has been an industry leader in advancing consumer engagement through the use of technology and is highlighting its programs on Consumer Health IT Day, which kicks off National Health IT Week, September 16-20.
Altarum has a number of specific initiatives focused on consumer engagement and activation. One is the “Reducing Inappropriate High-tech Imaging” project that provides physicians with recommendations for their patients on using high-tech imaging such as MRIs and CT-Scans.
“We received a strong message from physicians about the challenges in responding to patient requests for high-tech imaging. And from that, we developed a clinical decision support tool and education materials that physicians can provide to support shared decision making with their patients,” said Bobbi Coluni, deputy director of Altarum’s Information and Technology Strategies group.
Altarum is making these patient education materials available free of charge through a website launching on Consumer Health IT Day, September 16th.
Another consumer engagement tool is the Altarum Consumer Engagement (ACE) survey. This 15-question survey measures consumer behavior in managing their own health and making health care decisions. ACE is supported by Safeway Health and is being tested in clinical settings.
“Having a tool to measure consumer engagement in a population is critically important to inform strategy, tailor communications, and monitor change in engagement over time,” said Wendy Lynch, co-director of Altarum’s Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care. “Our ACE scale can help organizations and providers better understand their patients and how to engage them to improve satisfaction and quality of care.”
Altarum also leads the Michigan Center for Effective IT Adoption (M-CEITA) on behalf of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology. M-CEITA works with Michigan providers to accelerate the selection, adoption, and meaningful use of health information technology to improve the quality and efficiency of health care delivery. With new, Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements raising the bar on patient engagement, the M-CEITA team is providing new services to help physicians transform their practices to more effectively engage patients.
Altarum Institute (www.altarum.org) integrates objective research and client-centered consulting skills to deliver comprehensive, systems-based solutions that improve health and health care. Altarum employs more than 400 individuals and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., with additional offices in the Washington, D.C., area; Portland, Maine; and San Antonio, Texas.