September 19, 2013
Why Measure Patient Activation? By Dr. Judith Hibbard
Efforts encouraging patients to be more involved in their care are key in health initiatives aimed at improving outcomes and restraining costs. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) incorporates approaches that support patient self-management and collaboration between patients and providers. It is dawning on the medical community that supporting patient self-management, particularly for older patients and those with chronic disease, is an essential element of high quality care. Research shows that involved patients engage in more healthy behaviors, have better health outcomes and cost less.
Being an activated patient implies more than simply following medical advice; it means taking a proactive role in one’s health. Measuring such activation means figuring out the degree to which a person understands his or her role in maintaining and promoting their health, and the extent to which he or she thinks he or she can succeed in this role. Patient engagement is a global construct reflecting an individual’s overall knowledge, skill and confidence in self-management.