Closing the Gaps in Health Care to Achieve Better Outcomes

Reducing the burden of chronic disease is one of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare field today.
This widely sought-after goal is beset by significant obstacles. A big part of the problem is lack of patient engagement, or patients not being adequately involved in care decisions and follow-up care.

Studies suggest that patients who are well-informed, educated about their condition and involved in their health care decisions not only have greater satisfaction of care, but also tend to have better outcomes and lower costs,” Ted James, M.D., medical director and vice chair at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center–Harvard Medical School, wrote in an Oct. 10, 2018, post on the medical school’s “Lean Forward” page of its CME Online portal.

Rather than empowering patients in self-care, current systems of fragmented care often leave patients disengaged, providing them with few resources and an abundance of frustrating tasks such as duplicate requests and long waits.

James added that “as disruptive innovators seek to fill the gap in meeting the needs of our patients, proactive health care leaders can leverage opportunities provided through clinical innovations to achieve greater patient engagement.”

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