Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Defining What it Means to be an Engaged Healthcare Consumer

In the health and wellness arena, everyone is talking about engaging consumers, but are we clear about what we're asking people to do? As far as I am aware, no one has defined what specific behaviors an engaged healthcare consumer demonstrates. I’d like to create a definition that outlines how an engaged consumer behaves. I plan to share it with our staff to clearly communicate what we are asking them to do. 

If you’re interested enough to have read this far, I’d like your help crowdsourcing a definition. I’ll get us started and I hope you’ll jump in and use the comment feature to share your thoughts. 

An engaged healthcare consumer:
  1. Has a primary care physician
  2. Asks the 5 questions recommended in the Choosing Wisely campaign before getting any test, treatment or procedure:
    1. Do I really need this test or procedure?
    2. What are the risks?
    3. Are there simpler, safer options?
    4. What happens if I don't do anything?
    5. How much does it cost?
  3. Reviews hospital safety data before deciding where to seek care
  4. Actively monitors and tracks their personal health indicators related to any existing conditions e.g., high blood pressure and diabetes
  5. Maintains a list of medication taken and shows it to medical providers when seeking care
  6. Takes medications as prescribed and instructed
  7. Develops a personal/family budget to manage healthcare expenses
  8. Uses available tools to make cost conscious decisions
This post was also shared on Medium. I welcome your comments here, there or in any way you'd like to share them!

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