What is Patient Engagement?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Patient Engagement?

Patient engagement is all about physicians, nurses and health care providers creating more genuine and collaborative partnerships with their patients to support goals like improving health care outcomes, reducing costs and improving patient care.

Health care providers have traditionally followed a paternalistic model of health care delivery, where the patient presents with a specific set of symptoms and simply does whatever their doctor recommends with minimal input. The idea of replacing one-way prescriptive communication with two-way collaborative communication in the health care setting is the foundation of all efforts to improve patient engagement.

Studies have indicated that when patients are effectively engaged in their own medical care, the results can include improved adherence to treatment, lower rates of hospital re-admittance, decreased morbidity and enhanced quality of life. Patient engagement initiatives may also lead to benefits such as improved quality and safety of health care and increased levels of patient satisfaction.

Patient Engagement and Shared Decision Making

How can healthcare organizations facilitate patient engagement in a clinical setting? As a starting point, an increasing number of health care providers are offering web-based applications such as patient portals where patients can access their electronic medical records, review chart notes and stay in the loop with respect to how physicians and other health care providers are managing their care.

Still, simply making information available is insufficient for creating patient engagement. Research indicates that many patients want to actively participate in the decision-making process with respect to their own health care. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) acknowledged this fact by mandating programs that would develop decision aids for use by patients, including informational brochures, software, and other educational media.

Physicians can drive patient engagement in the clinical setting through a basic framework where each step requires participation from both the patient and their care provider:

  1. Physicians should work to understand the values and goals of patients
  2. Physicians should address health care options that can help patients realize their goals, reviewing the drawbacks and benefits of each available care option or treatment
  3. Patients should be empowered to play an active role in their health care and make decisions about their based on information provided by physicians

Patient Engagement and Digital Health

The health care industry is undergoing an unprecedented digital revolution as health care providers search for ways to enhance patient care outcomes and drive down costs in an increasingly competitive health care environment. These three key innovations in digital health are changing the ways that patients and physicians communicate and bringing patients to the decision-making table in new ways that drive patient engagement.

EHR Mandate

The United States EHR mandate was created as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Under the act, health care providers were required to demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records in the provision of patient care. The increased digitization of patient data has removed barriers that prevented physician teams and patients from collaborating on patient care, while legislation like HIPAA plays an ongoing role in ensuring the privacy and security of patient health care data.


Telemedicine reflects a growing trend of delivering health care through digital platforms, including video conferencing, VoIP, telephone calls and text messages. Digital technologies enhance the availability of health care, especially for vulnerable populations, and can play an important role in bolstering patient engagement for at-risk demographics.

Clinical Communications and Secure Messaging

The emergence of clinical communications and securing messaging applications in the health care setting is changing the way health care providers document and share information and involve patients in the process. Integration between clinical communications and EHR means that patients and their physician teams can interact, collaborate and share health data on a single unified platform that streamlines and encourages patient engagement and shared decision-making.

TigerConnect Patient Communication Tools Drive Patient Engagement

With TigerConnect’s clinical communication solutions, patients and physicians benefit from a direct line of communication that supports dialog, Q&A and shared decision-making opportunities that extend beyond the confines of the physical clinic or doctor’s office. With TigerConnect, patients gain unprecedented access to doctors and the opportunity to ask new questions and participate actively in their own care, leading to improved patient engagement and enhanced health care outcomes.

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About TigerConnect

TigerConnect is healthcare’s most widely adopted communication platform – uniquely modernizing care collaboration among doctors, nurses, patients, and care teams. TigerConnect is the only solution that combines a consumer-like user experience for text, video, and voice communication with serious security, privacy, and clinical workflow requirements that today’s healthcare organizations demand. TigerConnect accelerates productivity, reduces costs, and improves patient outcomes.

Trusted by more than 6,000 healthcare organizations, TigerConnect maintains 99.99% verifiable uptime and processes more than 10 million messages each day. To learn more about TigerConnect visit www.tigerconnect.com.