Patient Engagement, Empowerment, and Activation: Refining Performance Measurement in e-Health
e-Health ePoster Library. Risling T. Jun 5, 2017; 167122; EP01.06
Dr. Tracie Risling
Dr. Tracie Risling
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Purpose/Objectives: Healthcare literature is inundated with publications promoting the promise of e-health tools and interventions in delivering improved patient outcomes. Frequently, these reports feature discussion of patient engagement, empowerment, activation, or some combination therein. The issue that appears to be arising however, is the indistinct use of these terms in the science of e-health, particularly regarding how the influence of technological solutions are measured and reported. The purpose of this research was to reexamine these critical concepts and unite both academic and software development perspectives to more effectively operationalize these measures for future research and practice.

Methodology/Approach: A scoping review on patient empowerment with a particular focus on the measurement of this concept in relation to e-health intervention was conducted. During the course of this review the overlapping, and in certain instances, interchangeable use of empowerment and engagement emerged. Literature featuring patient activation, and more specifically the use of the PAM or Patient Activation Measure, completed the concept trifecta. Using the review as a foundation, an interdisciplinary team was formed with both academic research and ICT practice representation. Through this collaboration, an in-depth analysis of the concepts of patient engagement, empowerment, and activation was undertaken with the express purpose of harmonizing terminology between the domains and providing a means of distinct application and measurement of these concepts for future use.

Finding/Results: We have concluded that while empowerment, engagement, and activation are closely interrelated they describe very different aspects of patient participation in the process of healthcare self-management. Ongoing confusion of these concepts, especially in their operationalization and measurement, risks a dilution of e-health science and potentially the advancement of patient-focused intervention. The integration of academic rigour and software development best practice has resulted in a new conceptualization of these key aspects of performance measurement and a more precise framework on which to move forward.

Conclusion/Implication/Recommendations: The ongoing evolution of e-health technology will increasingly require joint undertakings between healthcare, and computer science/software development professionals. This should include the critical work of efficacy assessment and detailed performance measurement that serves the needs of both domains. By recognizing crucial differences in the concepts of patient engagement, empowerment, and activation and delivering a collaborative view on the mechanisms underlying each, we have proposed a framework for clear and concise future measure. This work can support researchers and health informatics professionals in more consistent and exact evaluation of the degrees to which patients are involved in healthcare self-management and decision making, and ultimately, the quality and success of that involvement.

140 Character Summary: ICT meets academia in a collaborative analysis and reconceptualization of patient engagement, empowerment, and activation including future use and measure.
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