Patient Engagement Growing Focus for Hospitals


Engaging patients more effectively in their own treatment is becoming a growing focus for hospitals and hospitalists. The Wall Street Journal earlier this year described how hospitals are scoring patients on their “activation”—how engaged they are likely to be in their ongoing care and recovery—with measurement tools such as the Patient Activation Measure (www.insigniahealth.com/solutions/patient-activation-measure)—in order to customize their care through special coaching or other interventions.4 Information Week Healthcare notes that more hospitals are putting patient experience officers in the C-suite to help them learn how to treat patients more like valued customers.5

One of the country’s first chief experience officers (CXOs), James Merlino, MD, CXO for Cleveland Clinic, heads a department that hosts the annual Patient Experience Summit, which was held in Cleveland in May with co-sponsorship by the Society for Hospital Medicine and the American Hospital Association. It’s one thing to talk about how important patient experience is, Dr. Merlino told Information Week Healthcare. “But it’s another to hold people accountable for it.”

Larry Beresford is a freelance writer in Alameda, Calif.


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  2. Hu J, Gonsahn MD, Nerenz DR. Socioeconomic status and readmissions: Evidence from an urban teaching hospital. Health Affair. 2014;33(5):778-785.
  3. Hoyer EH, Needham DM, Atanelov L, Knox B, Friedman M, Brotman DJ. Association of impaired functional status at hospital discharge and subsequent rehospitalization. J Hosp Med. 2014;9(5):277–282.
  4. Landro L. How doctors rate patients. The Wall Street Journal. March 31, 2014. Available at: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304432604579473301109907412. Accessed July 31, 2014.
  5. Diana A. Hospitals elevate patient satisfaction to the C-suite. Information Week Healthcare. March 24, 2014. Available at: http://www.informationweek.com/healthcare/leadership/ hospitals-elevate-patient-satisfaction-to-the-c-suite/d/d-id/1127860. Accessed July 31, 2014.
  6. The Press Association. London trust now testing seriously ill patients for HIV. Nursing Times. May 8, 2014. Available at: http://www.nursingtimes.net/confirmation?rtn=%252fbarts-to-rollout-routine-hiv-testing-for-intensive-care-patients%252f5070642.article. Accessed July 31, 2014.
  7. Pallin DJ, Espinola JA, Camargo CA Jr. US population aging and demand for inpatient services. J Hosp Med. 2014;9(3):193-196.

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