PatientEngagementHIT

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Nurse Communication, Patient Activation Top 2018 Trends

Articles about nurse communication, patient activation, and patient motivation topped the 2018 headlines.

patient activation

Source: Thinkstock

By Sara Heath

- As 2018 draws to a close, healthcare professionals reflect on lessons learned and trends passed that can in some way shape their paths forward in the new year. Topping those trends are the role of nurse communication, patient activation, and patient motivation in value-based care.

Although industry experts continue to praise health IT for its potential to revolutionize patient care, one fact remains consistent: clinicians and hospital staff alike must lean on their patient relationships to drive true behavior change and empower patients as agents of change in their own wellness efforts.

Below, PatientEngagementHIT.com lists its top stories of 2018, recognizing these articles not only as indications of healthcare trends, but as insights into the needs of providers. Top stories included resources outlining the basics of healthcare, underscoring the idea that healthcare professionals seek to stay on top of the most important topics in a shifting industry landscape.

What is the Patient Activation Measure in Patient-Centered Care?

As providers continue to face payments that hinge on positive patient outcomes, they need patients to participate in their own wellness plans. But how can providers measure the extent to which patients are activated in care?

The patient activation measure (PAM) is a 100-point, quantifiable scale determining patient engagement in healthcare. Measures include patients’ abilities to self-manage problems, engage in activities that will improve health, and navigate the healthcare system.

The PAM is heavily used in medical research to better understand certain patient interventions. Additionally, clinicians will use the PAM on individual patients to determine which specific tools or interventions will help the patient improve her own health.

Top 4 Patient Motivation Techniques for Health Improvement

Just as providers seek to understand the extent to which patients will become activated in their own care, they want to know the different strategies that will motivate patients to make healthy behavior changes.

This article outlines the detection of non-compliance and engagement barriers, the use of motivational interviewing, effective incentive models, and health technologies and mHealth tools that will help patients interact with their own health.

How Nurse Staffing Ratios Impact Patient Safety, Access to Care

A Massachusetts ballot measure sparked nationwide debate as nurses and other healthcare professionals questioned the efficacy of nurse staffing ratios. Staffing ratios, which can be mandated by hospital administration or state policymakers, can have an impact on patient safety and patient care access.

Proponents for nurse staffing ratios state that such rules allow clinicians to focus better on patients, leaving room for patient safety improvements. It could also lead to more meaningful relationship-building and patient education.

However, nurse staffing ratios can cause many hospitals – especially community hospitals – to take a financial hit. Additionally, it could cause patient care access issues if a hospital does not have the staff to meet patient demand.

How Patient Portals Improve Patient Engagement

Although most of this year’s top articles center on patient behavior change and empowerment, health IT nonetheless plays a role. Long the most prominent patient engagement technology, healthcare professionals are still working to make the patient portal an effective part of their patient engagement suites.

This article, which outlines the basics of patient portals and their potential for empowering patients, sets the stage for where providers are today. While most providers have implemented a patient portal and many patients have signed up for the tool, organizations continue to grapple with active patient use.

Effective Nurse Communication Skills and Strategies

The human touch of healthcare has remained a steadfast component of a positive patient experience, and in no other specialty is that more important than in nursing. Nurses are on the frontlines of patient care, tending to patient needs from the intake process to the bedside to patient discharge.

With patient experience and hospital satisfaction scores on the line, nurses must establish positive relationships with their patients, communicate care instructions and other health concepts clearly and concisely, and engage family members or caregivers, all while navigating the growing number of health technologies available to patients and providers. This article outlines how nurses can tackle those challenges and improve patient outcomes and experience.

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