PRC Director, Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, analyzes the first NEJM Catalyst Insights Report on patient engagement. Surveying the NEJM Insights Council, a group of distinguished and experienced health care executives, clinician leaders, and clinicians from around the United States, Volpp and colleague Namita S. Mohta, MD, look at the landscape of patient engagement, ranging from a working definition of the phrase to which strategies they feel are most helpful (and which are not).
The survey highlights that respondents view engagement levels among their patients as low and recognize that how engagement is measured is inadequate. This is a rapidly evolving field, and what is regarded as ineffective today — such as remote monitoring devices — may be viewed very differently in the future, as new technologies and service models that take full advantage of them emerge.
“These results highlight the challenges in front of us; while having patients who are engaged with their health and with the health system is important, low rates of engagement appear to be the norm,” according to Volpp. “We haven’t yet discovered optimal ways of achieving high rates of sustained patient engagement. We are also interested in highlighting approaches that don’t work, as both kinds of examples can highlight important learnings for the field.”