Patient engagement: an investigation at a primary care clinic
Preetinder Singh Gill
College of Technology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA
Background: Engaged employees are an asset to any organization. They are instrumental in ensuring good commercial outcomes through continuous innovation and incremental improvement. A health care facility is similar to a regular work setting in many ways. A health care provider and a patient have roles akin to a team leader and a team member/stakeholder, respectively. Hence it can be argued that the concept of employee engagement can be applied to patients in health care settings in order to improve health outcomes.
Methods: Patient engagement data were collected using a survey instrument from a primary care clinic in the northern Indian state of Punjab. Canonical correlation equations were formulated to identify combinations which were strongly related to each other. In addition, the cause-effect relationship between patient engagement and patient-perceived health outcomes was described using structural equation modeling.
Results: Canonical correlation analysis showed that the first set of canonical variables had a fairly strong relationship, ie, a magnitude > 0.80 at the 95% confidence interval, for five dimensions of patient engagement. Structural equation modeling analysis yielded a β ≥ 0.10 and a Student's t statistic ≥ 2.96 for these five dimensions. The threshold Student's t statistic was 1.99. Hence it was found the β values were significant at the 95% confidence interval for all census regions.
Conclusion: A scaled reliable survey instrument was developed to measured patient engagement. Better patient engagement is associated with better patient-perceived health outcomes. This study provides preliminary evidence that patient engagement has a causal relationship with patient-perceived health outcomes.
Keywords: patient engagement, health outcomes, communication, provider effectiveness, patient incentive
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