The Truven Health Blog

The latest healthcare topics from a trusted, proven, and unbiased source.


Patient Activation Matters! Does Your Patient Health Education Solution Engage and Activate?

By Truven Staff
Heather Du Mez imageWith the proliferation of patient health education solutions designed to take patient engagement to the next level, how can you ensure the solution you choose engages your patients and increases their “activation?” Do your patients understand their role in the care process, including the knowledge, skills, and confidence to take on that role?

Research continues to demonstrate that highly activated patients are more likely to have better outcomes:
  • Highly activated patients have lower healthcare costs (1)
  • Patients with higher activation levels are more likely to have normal systolic blood pressure, triglyceride and HDL levels, a healthy weight, and less likely to visit the emergency room or become hospitalized (2)
  • Highly activated patients have more positive care experiences (3)   
At Truven Health Micromedex® Solutions, our collective experience of providing patient education solutions to thousands of hospitals world-wide, has resulted in evidence-based patient health education content that is designed to engage and activate. The content, found in our Micromedex® CareNotes® Solution, adheres to health-literacy standards (written at a 5th-to-7th grade reading level, in plain, easy-to-understand language) and  leverages ADDS (actionable, direct, directive, streamlined) design principles. CareNotes are:
  • Actionable. Instructions emphasize how to complete a task, including crucial details and steps describing the behavior a patient must change, or the actions a patient must perform. 
  • Direct. State information directly and concisely. The message is not complicated with extra words or unnecessary medical terms. 
  • Directive. Tell the patient what to do and what not to do, so the patient is not left to guess whether directions are necessary or merely suggested.
  • Streamlined. Remove information that is not necessary in order to highlight need-to-know information.
This approach is responsive to the research around activation and best represents the needs of our customers to keep their patients actively engaged in their own health care.

What innovations is your hospital or staff making to promote activation and to ensure the patient experience is interactive? What do you think are the most critical imperatives for activation improvement? Post a reply and share your ideas. Sharing our collective experiences is a great way to learn what is and is not working among your peers.

Learn more about how our comprehensive editorial process and procedures promote patient activation to improve health literacy, motivate patient behavior, and increase compliance.

Heather Du Mez, RN, BSN
Editorial Manager

The Role of Healthcare Consumer Engagement in the Transition to Value-Based Care

By Truven Staff
Linda MacCracken imageProviders focused on patient-centered medical care are setting up continuous touchpoints in care episodes and care experiences, and this engagement is reaping strong benefits of increased revenue, boosted loyalty, and reduced leakage.

With an increasingly complex and competitive provider landscape, consumers face more complex choices. More and more, consumers are making particular provider selections as a result of high deductible and copay amounts, as well as limited networks driven by their selection of lower-cost health plans. Physician referrals are becoming more health system-contained, and patient education initiatives from payers, providers, and suppliers are becoming more important.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) also promotes consolidated, integrated care by guiding patients through the care process via medical homes and utilizing electronic health records (EHRs) to provide a view of care throughout the care continuum. At the same time, effective readmission reduction has reduced admissions enough to require growth strategies to back fill volumes, often through provider consolidation. The increase in the newly insured will help fuel growth, too, once expanded Medicaid and Exchange access begin to drive demand.

All of these changes call for providers to focus on patient engagement in new ways in order to reduce volume detractors and better direct new volume demand.

How can hospital marketers get started?
  1. Engage consumers and persuade them to obtain condition-related preventive care to comply with health-related practices.
  2. Encourage patients to choose the right site of care for optimal care management.
  3. Help patients learn and be directed to appropriate pre- and post-acute care services within a single episode.
  4. Increase care coordination by providing information on related service lines.
  5. Provide ongoing information about recommended care via a primary care provider or medical home.
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Linda MacCracken
Vice President, Advisory Services