CHICAGO — Despite strong interest in boosting patient and provider engagement, the health care industry is facing some hiccups in doing so, said speakers at the HIMSS15 Annual Conference & Exhibition.
An annual survey, conducted by HIMSS, indicated that consumer and patient engagement are top-of-mind among health information technology leaders, but translating that interest into action is not happening as quickly as it could.
The survey, HIMSS’ 26th Annual Leadership Survey, showed that the No. 1 business issue impacting care delivery among health IT executives is consumer/patient considerations, cited by 72 percent of respondents.
Still, panelists at a news conference for the survey noted that the concept of patient engagement is evolving.
“Patient engagement is almost a cliché,” with the term being misused by some, said Paul Kleeberg, M.D., chairman of HIMSS’ board of directors and chief medical informatics officer for Stratis Health, a quality improvement organization. Many in the industry cling to a traditional concept of patient engagement efforts that aren’t going to increase engagement. Instead, “we need to work together as a team with our patients,” Kleeberg said.
The survey also indicated that there’s room for improvement with medical staff and nursing staff engagement. Fifty-one percent of leaders said that IT effectively engages physician leaders and 57 percent said IT effectively engages nursing leaders. Just 39 percent of respondents said chief medical information officers were part of the executive team, while 32 percent said chief nursing information officers were on the executive team.