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Healthcare Articles For Patient Engagement

To be forewarned is to be forearmed
Victor E. Battles, M.D. - Jan. 2014

Healthcare articles are a valuable patient-empowerment resource for acquiring knowledge and foreknowledge of the issues related to the healthcare industry and patient engagement. Knowledge of the status quo can help patients navigate the changing system with an understanding of why certain courses of action, particularly those associated with patient engagement, are appropriate and necessary. Foreknowledge of future changes help patients to prepare and make the necessary adjustments required by healthcare reform. 

Because the wheels of change require greater patient engagement and increasing patient responsibility in making decisions, the healthcare articles that are most vital for patients to read are those which provide them with an understanding of the current regulations governing their care and future regulations that pertain to patients and physicians. Although there has been a tendency for patients to feel that the regulatory aspect is strictly the responsibility of doctors, this notion is more noticeably incorrect, given the fact that we are moving more toward a value-based reimbursement system in which doctors' reimbursement will be based on quality-of-care measures, costs, and outcomes. A good understanding of the evolving system will enable patients and doctors to better meet their responsibilities.  

Healthcare articles which are of value to patients provide an understanding of patient engagement and various scenarios in which it is applicable. They also explain the interrelationship between patient empowerment, health literacy and patient engagement, as well as provide readers with ideas which can be formulated into action plans for improving communication in healthcare between themselves and their physicians, achieving quality improvement in health care, and reducing healthcare expenses. 

Healthcare articles provide patients with fundamental understanding of many of the present and future healthcare reform changes pertaining to health insurance and current and emerging healthcare models. They also shed light on electronic health records and what is required of patients in order for their doctors to successfully satisfy the meaningful-use requirements from a reimbursement perspective. 

Healthcare articles also enlighten patients on other factors affecting how physicians are paid and show them how actions on their part can favorably impact their physicians and thus increase the likelihood of being able to maintain their care under those physicians. Foreknowledge of changes which decrease the likelihood of maintaining a current healthcare relationship provides patients with an awareness of the need for future action. Knowledge of the status quo and foreknowledge of the future are the basis of a reasonable action plan.

Victor E Battles, M.D. is a board-certified internist with more than 30 years of patient contact. He has served on hospital quality assurance committees and in October 1986 was certified by the American board of quality assurance and utilization review.

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