Survey Finds Consumer Engagement Top HIE Priority

NeHC Surveys HIE Learning Network on Consumer Engagement Strategies

The National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) is a public-private partnership that enables secure and interoperable nationwide health information exchange to advance health and improve healthcare. NeHC was established through a grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to build on the accomplishments of the American Health Information Community (AHIC), a federal advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) until 2008, and is led by some of the nation’s most respected thought leaders in healthcare and health IT.

NeHC recently released the results of their Consumer Engagement with Health Information Technology (IT) Survey. The survey was distributed to the 450 members of NeHC’s Health Information Exchange Learning Network. The survey’s purpose was to gain an understanding to help in the development of current and future consumer engagement strategies. The NeHC surveyasked how organizations define engagement, how they use health information technology to engage consumers and what challenges and barriers their organization has encountered.  The results of revealed interesting and encouraging findings.

[Related Article: Teaching Providers How To Do Health Information Exchange]

According to NeHC CEO Kate Berry, “Effectively leveraging health IT to engage with patients and consumers will lead to better healthcare outcomes. Our survey shows that a majority of organizations believe in the strategic importance of consumer engagement yet their strategies are understandably nascent.”

Survey respondents identified primary goals for consumer engagement as:

  • Improve health outcomes
  • Deliver information to patients
  • Enable consumers to take more responsibility for their health
  • Reduce healthcare costs
  • Improve consumers’ experience in interacting with our organization

According to the survey, 53% of respondents ranked consumer engagement as high or very high in their organization’s priorities, while only 3% ranked it as very low in priority. The survey also found that while about 33% of respondents said their organization’s strategies for consumer engagement with health IT are not clearly defined, 59% said their organization is developing clear consumer engagement strategies.

The NeHC survey uncovered additional information on how organizations plan to measure the success of their strategies for consumer engagement with health IT as well as the challenges they are facing. The complete survey results can be found here.