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2017 Patient Engagement Trends: Providers Educate to Impact Social Health Determinants, Health Literacy

Challenged by patients' social determinants of health and low health literacy, healthcare organizations employ education to engage the populations they serve, according to September 2017 metrics from the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

Sea Girt, NJ, October 12, 2017 --( Social and economic conditions in which patients are born, grow, live, work and age, known as social determinants of health (SDOH), pose the greatest barriers to engaging patients in self-care, report 35 percent of respondents to the 2017 Patient Engagement Survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

This benchmark is driving SDOH screenings of patient populations, a tactic employed by 37 percent of respondents to target individuals for patient engagement interventions. One-quarter report some resolution of SDOH factors as a result of engagement efforts.

Additionally, deficits in health literacy, the degree to which individuals can obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions, result in poorly engaged patients, say 23 percent of respondents.

On a clinical level, patients with diabetes present the most formidable engagement challenges, say 26 percent of respondents.

To break down both socioeconomic and clinical barriers to engagement, 75 percent of respondents employ education, which one-fifth report is the most effective engagement tool.

Overall, the September 2017 survey found that 71 percent of respondents have created formal patient engagement programs, with 45 percent of the remaining slated to launch a program in the coming year.

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) mine clinical data analytics to risk-stratify individuals for engagement efforts.

On the technology side, patient-centered platforms or portals anchor 63 percent of patient engagement initiatives.

Respondents also shared business successes resulting from patient engagement initiatives, including decreases in hospital readmissions penalties, improvements in the quality, safety and engagement of patients, and perceived value of investment to clients.

Download more metrics from the complimentary HINtelligence report, "Patient Engagement in 2017: Educate in Face of Social Health Determinants, Health Literacy Hurdles," at

News Facts: HIN's latest white paper, "Patient Engagement in 2017: Educate in Face of Social Health Determinants, Health Literacy Hurdles," summarizes September 2017 feedback from 75 hospitals and health systems, population health management companies, health plans and others on patient engagement interventions.

This 2017 patient engagement snapshot also captured the following trends:

- Patient experience rankings are the most reliable measure of engagement program success, say 43 percent;

- Technologies supporting patient engagement are chiefly employed for education and prevention purposes, say 80 percent of respondents, followed by collection of patient-generated health data (53 percent);

- For one quarter of respondents, patient engagement is the primary domain of case managers;

- Fourteen percent of respondents report patient engagement-related ROI between 3:1 and 4:1;

- Half attributed a drop in hospital emergency room visits to patient engagement interventions; and

- Almost three fourths (73 percent) believe that results from digital patient engagement tools warrant the investment required.

Download more metrics from the complimentary HINtelligence report, "Patient Engagement in 2017: Educate in Face of Social Health Determinants, Health Literacy Hurdles," at

For Melanie Matthews's profile, please visit

"Beyond generating hoped-for improvements in clinical outcomes from actively engaged patients, patient engagement metrics now factor heavily into the equations of risk- and value-based reimbursement models. These benchmarks highlight the industry's need to screen for and address social determinants of health that hinder optimum health—from arranging a ride to a doctor's appointment to securing bridge housing for a homeless patient following a hospitalization." -Melanie Matthews, HIN Executive VP and COO

Please contact Patricia Donovan to arrange an interview or to obtain additional quotes.

About the Healthcare Intelligence Network — HIN is the premier advisory service for executives seeking high-quality strategic information on the business of healthcare. For more information, contact the Healthcare Intelligence Network, PO Box 1442, Wall Township, NJ 07719-1442, (888) 446-3530, fax (732) 449-4463, e-mail, or visit
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Patricia Donovan

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