Your Source for Health Reform

Topic: Patient Engagement



Navigating the health system, understanding medical jargon, and incorporating healthy behaviors into everyday life can be difficult for patients to do on their own. Healthcare providers can be a source of information and support for patients seeking care. By interacting with patients in a responsive and understanding manner, providers can ensure that patients have positive experiences with the healthcare system and will want to return with future questions or concerns.


1 2

Measuring Health Knowledge

Health literacy is an individual’s ability to access and understand medical information. Increasingly, researchers are finding connections between a person’s health literacy and health outcomes. This October 2014 journal article reviews 51 health literacy instruments in order to guide providers and researchers in their decisions around what measures to use.

Improve Public Speaking on Healthcare

Explaining complex health topics to people without a medical background can be difficult. This March 2014 online course from the CDC aims to help health and public health providers learn communication strategies to enhance health literacy of different groups including individuals, the community, and the media.

Communicating Health Information to Older Adults

These CDC tools and resources help health professionals improve communication with older adults by focusing on health literacy issues. The materials detail specific challenges older adults may have and include a provider self-assessment tool to gauge the current level of communication.

Family Engagement for Quality Improvement

This set of tips helps pediatric healthcare teams improve quality improvement efforts. By including patient and family representatives in the beginning of quality improvement work, teams are able to better target efficient, meaningful and sustainable systems change. The tips were published in 2013 by the National Institute of Children’s Health Quality.

Provider Health Communication Best Practices

Read this best-practice quick guide from the Department of Health and Human services to implement health provider communications that take into account patient demographics, culture, language, communication capacity, and understanding.

Counseling Patients on Physical Activity

This CME module from the American Medical Association is designed to help physicians and other health care professionals learn to counsel patients on increasing physical activity levels, on dietary guidelines, and on obesity. Physicians who complete the module by January 2016 can receive .5 PRA Category 1 credits. (more…)

Patient Engagement Strategies

This e-book from HL7 Standards gives medical providers detailed strategies for establishing and maintaining relationships with patients. The book by Leonard Kish, titled “Patient Engagement is a Strategy, Not a Tool, presents tactics that use recent technological advances, social media, and messaging to improve patient-provider interactions as well as patients’ health decision making. The e-book was released in November 2014.

Culturally Competent Patient Care

This course from the Department of Health and Human Services outlines steps to engage with patients of different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds in a respectful manner. Physicians and physician assistants can receive up to nine continuing medical education credits and nurse practitioners can receive up to nine contact hours after completing the course.

1 2