Patient Engagement Platforms

AAHKS Digital Health Committee
Digital Health White Papers

What is Patient Engagement?

Patient engagement vs. patient experience

Patient engagement combines a patient’s knowledge, skills, ability and willingness to manage his or her own health and care with interventions designed to increase activation and promote positive patient behavior. This is an active process where the patient and his or her family actively interact in the care process. Patient engagement is far more than the concept of patient experience which is a passive process of patient’s perception of care.

How to engage the patient

A patient engagement platform (PEP) is a digital application that patients can access on their smartphone, tablet or computer. It may be tethered to patient’s electronic medical record.

  • Patient engagement platforms
  • Deliver interactive patient education
  • Reminders to follow protocols
  • Record and monitor health outcomes
  • Report pain scores, mobility levels, and wound photos

Why use patient engagement platforms?

Patient engagement is increasingly utilized as an effective tool to implement the triple aim of healthcare: improve health outcomes of patient and population, improve patient experience and lower cost (Stiefel 2012). A PEP is the most effective way to engage the patients in their care. Benefits of using a PEP are summarized below.

Improve health outcomes

  • Enable fast and trackable implementation of protocols like ERAS
  • Remote guidance and monitoring
  • Improve self‐management
  • Collect data on quality metrics and PROMs
  • Simplify data collection for research
  • Compare patient recovery benchmarks with other patients, surgeons or health systems

Improve patient’s experience

  • Improve patient’s experience
  • Patients feel connected and cared for
  • Improve patient satisfaction scores
  • Grow market‐share indirectly through happy‐patients
  • Improve care team’s efficiency
  • Improve patient and provider communication and coordination
  • Reduce staff time
  • Automate data collection

Lower cost

  • Reduce ER and office visits
  • Reduce utilization of therapy and home care services
  • Reduce readmissions (Bini 2014)
  • Reduce surgery cancellations
  • 21% reduction in healthcare cost in an RCT (Hibbard 2013)
  • Bill for Remote Patient Monitoring (CPT 99091)
  • Receive full credit for Improvement Activities under MIPS
  • Every increase in a providers’ star rating correlates with an 11% increase in referral volume

Patient engagement is key to improving outcomes, reducing cost and enhancing patient satisfaction. The ubiquity of mobile devices can be leveraged for patient engagement. Surgeons and health‐systems should carefully evaluate patient engagement platforms to suit their needs.


Bini SA. Mobile Patient Engagement Platforms May Help Reduce 30‐Day Readmission Rates in
Arthroplasty Patients. AAHKS 2014 Paper#1

Hibbard JH, Greene J. What the evidence shows about patient activation: better Health outcomes and care experiences; fewer data on costs. Health Aff (Millwood). 2013 Feb; 32(2):207‐14.

Hibbard JH, “Patients with Lower Activation Associated with Higher Costs; Delivery Systems Should Know Their Patients’ ‘Scores,’” Health Affairs 32, no. 2 (2013): 216–22.

Stiefel M. A Guide to Measuring the Triple Aim: Population Health, Experience of Care, and Per Capita Cost. IHI Innovation Series white paper: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2012.