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Regardless of the severity of each patient’s accident, disease, or condition, the healthcare business must prioritize the well-being, equitable treatment, and equality of all patients.

 In order to protect patients’ rights, advocacy is essential, and medical professionals have the ability to speak up for their patients. Understanding patient advocacy can help you build relevant professional skills if you’re thinking about a career in the medical field.

 This article defines patient advocacy, offers ten strategies for advocating on behalf of patients, and provides advice on how to effectively advocate for patients throughout your medical career.

Why Is Patient Engagement Important in Healthcare?

Effective patient engagement is essential in healthcare. It lessens the stress and burden on healthcare providers while improving the patient’s overall health. Here are some of the benefits that engagement can provide:

Improves customer satisfaction and retention

Patients who participate in their care feel valued and heard. They become more involved in their care, are satisfied with the services they receive, and are more likely to stick with a healthcare provider as a result.

Improves patients’ long-term health and well-being

Patients who take an active role in their care make better long-term decisions on their health and well-being. They are more likely to notice illness and disease signs early on and seek medical attention before they become serious problems.

Reduces waste

Patients that are disengaged do not follow recommendations for aftercare, patient education, or handouts. Even if you give them materials and medical supplies to aid in their therapy, there’s a good probability they won’t use the supplies or follow directions. Engaged patients receive the same information, which is utilized appropriately and is not discarded.

Reduces Potentially Preventable Readmissions (PPR)

Patients who are disengaged from the hospital have a higher chance of being readmitted within 30 days of their discharge because they do not adhere to aftercare guidelines.

Reduces overall costs

Although managing patient care requires more time, it is well worth the expense. Automation of technology can lessen the workload for staff members who handle follow-up calls and appointment reminders while maintaining patient volume and throughput.

Ways to ensure patient engagement throughout their care journey

You can engage patients throughout their care journey in a variety of ways, including the following:

Educate the patient

Inform your patient about their disease, injury, or other health issue, as well as any progress or setbacks and how to handle them. A patient can advocate for themself more effectively the more knowledge they have. The following advice will assist you in educating your patients:

  • Employ comprehensible language when elucidating intricate medical jargon.
  • Carefully read all prescriptions and any related instructions.
  • Find out if the patient has any questions.

 Update the entire team

To guarantee that the patient receives the best treatment possible from all physicians, it is essential to notify the entire medical team of any and all patient updates. Information regarding: 

  • Modifications to patient symptoms, care, or long-term plans
  • Varying patient moods
  • Particular desires or worries of the patient

Part of advocating for your patient also includes making sure that any medical staff members who deal with them are aware of any situational conditions, personal beliefs, or cultural customs that go beyond basic medical needs.

 Ensuring safety

Every patient’s health and well-being are of utmost importance, and safety is crucial. Here are some strategies to assist in making sure your patients are safe:

  • Ensure that all employees adhere to the correct protocols.
  • Properly store all medical supplies.
  • Make a concerted effort to lower dangers or hazards near the site.


Double-check documentation

Being thorough with all documentation, paperwork, charting, and instructions is one way you can act as an advocate for patients. It is advisable to thoroughly review all orders and confirm them with medical professionals such as nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and others.

Errors, conflicting commands, misinformation, and oversights may be avoided in this way. If you catch the error in time to fix it, it might not be a major problem in and of itself.

Offer resources

As part of advocacy, you can assist a patient in locating pertinent resources both inside and outside of your hospital. Find out more about the groups and resources in your area that offer caring, financial support, support, transportation, and other services.
For instance, a service that delivers meals to homebound patients can be beneficial to those with restricted mobility while they heal at home. 

Securing home supplies, assisting with discharge paperwork, introducing a social worker, filling take-home prescriptions, looking into generic prescription brands for affordability, and arranging transportation home or to and from future appointments are some more instances of offering support and resources.

Connect with families

Speaking with family members is a crucial component of effective patient advocacy. You can assist in educating, training, and informing family members about your patient’s health, accident, or sickness. In dangerous family situations, including neglect or unsuitable living conditions, you can also step in and take action.


Practice Shared Decision Making

Even if shared decision-making deviates from accepted medical wisdom, it can improve patient outcomes, increase patient engagement, and lower the number of needless hospital hospitalizations. 

Typically, when a patient visits a hospital or clinic, the medical staff uses their education, training, and experience to diagnose and treat them. Patients are thought to be ignorant and unfit to discuss their conditions.

Stay Engaged Throughout Aftercare

A patient is not necessarily emotionally or physically healed just because they are released from care. Although aftercare is a crucial component of any patient’s treatment plan, over 40% of patients occasionally misinterpret, disregard, or refuse to adhere to aftercare guidelines.

 Nonadherence might reach 70% when aftercare instructions are complicated or need significant lifestyle adjustments. 
Failure to follow aftercare guidelines may result in readmission, poor health outcomes, or even death.

 Up to 125,000 deaths are thought to occur annually as a result of complications brought on by non-adherence.

 Aftercare engagement can include following up on:

  • Medication adherence
  • Conditions and symptoms to watch for
  • Behavioral health needs
  • Payment reminders

Automated digital reminders, recovery status checks, patient education, and other follow-up keeps aftercare instructions top of mind among patients.


Provide Continuous Care

When patients come to your office, they most need your assistance. But after a patient is well, the care doesn’t end. All year long, patient engagement ought to occur.
Another excellent approach to assist patients with preventative care is through continuous care. 

While continuous care can dramatically minimize health issues and medical expenses for all patients, it is particularly important for high-risk patients who have chronic diseases.

Use Preferred Channels

Meeting patients where they are and interacting with them through their chosen channels of communication is a key component of increasing patient engagement.

Every patient has a favorite method of contact. Email, text messaging, patient portals, video conferencing, online messaging platforms, printed mail, and social media are a few possible avenues for patient contact and participation.

It’s easy to rely solely on technical solutions in our digital age. Nevertheless, it’s critical to vary and provide options such as interactive voice response (IVR) calls and applets interfaces.

Monitoring Engagement response rates

You may gauge the success of your engagement approach by counting the number of patients who respond.

Open and click-through rates for your digital communications are the easiest ways to measure patient reaction, but they don’t tell you if a patient actually followed through on the anticipated activity (e.g., schedule an appointment, or take a prescription medication).


Wrapping it up

Technology in healthcare has the potential to personalize the patient experience, change doctor-patient interactions, and increase awareness of wellness. More bed-free hospitals in the future would provide some of their services remotely, which would save operating costs and spare patients from the agony of long-distance travel.

Through Codewave EIT’s interventions, patients can communicate from the comfort of their beds using voice, video, and touch (whether they are in a hospital or at home). This can facilitate remote patient-family communication and allow clinicians to offer some of their services digitally.

 In order to promote patient engagement and behavior, Codewave EIT offers a digital platform that combines dynamic communication processes with machine learning/AI and behavioral science. To learn how you may achieve unrivaled outcomes in patient engagement and marketing initiatives, schedule your demo right away.