Mutaz Shegewi, Research Director, Provider IT Transformation Strategies, IDC Health Insights
Patient engagement technologies play a vital role in the digital transformation of healthcare. These hold the unique potential to transform care-seeking consumers into new patients and empower existing patients to become more involved in their health and care. Tools, processes, and environments that nurture the adoption of patient engagement technologies can positively impact cost, quality, access, patient safety, and patient experience across the continuum of care. Therefore, patient engagement technologies have been mandated as an essential component of policies since the introduction of the Triple Aim and evolved into some of the most important and recent frameworks advancing health IT (e.g., the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, MACRA, QPP, MIPS, and APM). Regulatory mandates, competitive market forces, and emergent changes in health stakeholders are driving a shift to a new era of value-based and consumer-driven healthcare. It is necessary healthcare providers come up with innovative patient engagement technology strategies that also shift in response to these changes. However, despite widespread industry usage and market buzz, patient engagement is for the most part an unclear concept. There is no consensus on a clear way to plan and execute patient engagement or implement its technologies. Therefore, there is a growing need for guidance and evidence to support the application of patient engagement and its technologies to impact the digital transformation of healthcare.