How to Improve Patient Engagement and Achieve the Triple Aim

Family looking at a phone

Health care is constantly evolving, and with it, our expectations of patients. Our goal today is to help patients actively participate in their health and well-being — to engage them. 

A growing body of evidence links patient engagement to better health outcomes. Specifically, Triple Aim initiatives in health care seek to boost patient experience, improve population health, and reduce individual healthcare costs. Can patient engagement help with this too? Let’s explore how to improve patient engagement with technology and meet the Triple Aim of behavioral health and human services.

Remember the Triple Aim?

The Triple Aim of health care refers to a framework introduced by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). It serves to help providers meet value-based care objectives by focusing on three interdependent goals that work together to achieve a more efficient, effective, and equitable healthcare system.

First, improving patient experience focuses on creating a patient-centered healthcare system by providing safe, effective, timely, patient-centered, efficient, and fair care. 

Second, improving population health involves addressing the root causes of illness and disease, such as poverty, lack of access to care, and unhealthy behaviors.

Third, reducing healthcare costs for individuals and society can lead to less waste, better quality of services, and greater efficiency.

Providing a comprehensive approach to improving the quality and affordability of care is the goal of the Triple Aim framework, which is widely recognized and used by clinicians, payers, and policymakers. By simultaneously focusing on these three aims, healthcare providers can create a value-based system that meets the needs of patients, communities, and the healthcare industry.

How the Triple Aim Applies to Behavioral Health

Patient experience is particularly relevant in behavioral health care, emphasizing the importance of providing respectful, empathetic, effective, and safe care. It’s important for the health and well-being of individuals and communities to address behavioral health issues such as mental illness and substance use disorder.

To reduce healthcare costs in behavioral health, you can start by promoting evidence-based practices, reducing readmissions, and improving care coordination between behavioral and primary care providers. Extending the continuum of care between appointments is another way that behavioral health and human services providers can reduce readmissions, thereby reducing costs. 

It’s possible to apply the Triple Aim to human services by improving the quality of services, reducing the costs associated with providing care for vulnerable patient populations, and promoting access to care for vulnerable people. You can achieve this by partnering with healthcare organizations and using technology to enhance service delivery and reduce administrative costs.

Patient Engagement and the Triple Aim of Health Care

Improve patient engagement: patient talking to a doctor

Patient engagement is the active involvement of patients in their care. This can include patient activation measures (PAM) like managing their health, following treatment plans, making healthy lifestyle choices, and communicating with their healthcare providers. Patient engagement aims to improve patient outcomes, increase patient satisfaction with their care, and reduce costs. Effective patient engagement strategies empower patients to take an active role in their care, improving their health and well-being. 

You can meet Triple Aim goals with the following:

  1. Patient experience: When patients are engaged in their own care, they are more likely to understand their health conditions and treatments, adhere to their medications and therapies, and communicate effectively with their healthcare professionals. This leads to improved health outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, and a better patient experience.
  2. Population health: By engaging patients in their own care plan, clinicians can address health behaviors and lifestyle factors contributing to chronic conditions and illnesses. This includes encouraging healthy behaviors, such as physical activity and healthy eating, and addressing social determinants of health, including poverty and lack of access to care.
  3. Individual healthcare costs: Engaged patients are more likely to take an active role in self-management, which can reduce the need for hospitalization, emergency room visits, and other expensive treatments. In addition, patient engagement technology — such as telehealth services and mobile health apps — can improve access to care, reduce the costs associated with in-person visits, and improve the efficiency and coordination of care.

Technology to Improve Patient Engagement

Technology can help your agency achieve the Triple Aim goals in behavioral health. Specifically, patient engagement technology can help you deliver high-quality care, boost patient experience, improve population health, and reduce costs.

Patients can better understand and manage their conditions using patient engagement technology, leading to better health outcomes. Mobile apps allow patients to get information about their needs, track their symptoms, and get mental health resources. Additionally, telehealth services can improve access to care and provide patients with a more convenient way to receive care.

Healthcare providers can use data analytics and clinical decision-support technology to identify trends and improve population health. Moreover, technology helps reduce individual healthcare costs by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery.

For example, electronic health records (EHRs) with a patient portal can improve care coordination by promoting communication between patients, their behavioral health providers, and primary care providers, which then reduces the need for duplicate tests and follow-up procedures. Additionally, telehealth services can reduce the costs of in-person visits, making care more accessible and affordable for patients. 

Improve Patient Engagement With the CaredFor App

Improve patient engagement: man happily using his phone

ContinuumCloud's PE platform aims to improve patient engagement by providing patients with a comprehensive suite of tools and resources. In terms of meeting the Triple Aim of health care, the CaredFor app can help in a number of ways.

Easy Messaging

The CaredFor app offers a HIPAA-compliant messaging system, allowing patients to communicate quickly and securely with their healthcare providers. This can improve the quality and coordination of care and increase patient satisfaction.

Patient Education 

The app's content library provides patients with a wealth of patient education resources and information about their conditions and treatments, helping to improve patient health literacy and empower them in shared decision-making. 

Patient Support 

The app's customized surveys and assessments allow providers to monitor patient progress and address any issues promptly. Patients can connect with their peers for support through a moderated community forum that’s safer than social media. For family engagement, family members, caregivers, and alums can use the community features and access general health information, which helps with retention.

The CaredFor app's peer support community and private messaging feature can support and encourage patients, reducing the need for more intensive, in-person treatment options. Additionally, the app's contingency management feature can help to promote positive health behaviors, leading to improved outcomes. An integrated EHR system can streamline administrative workflows, expedite care management treatment plans, and lower costs.

It’s Time to Improve Patient Engagement and Meet Triple Aim Goals

Technology has the power to transform the health care industry and improve the quality of care for patients. The CaredFor app is a prime example of how technology can help meet the Triple Aim goals in behavioral health by providing a comprehensive suite of tools and resources. 

From improving the patient experience of care to reducing individual health care costs, the CaredFor app can help providers achieve a more efficient, effective, and equitable healthcare system. If you want to improve patient engagement and achieve the Triple Aim goals in your behavioral health and human services organization, consider connecting with us today.

Previous Resource
Replay: The Great Balancing Act - Employee vs. Client Engagement
Replay: The Great Balancing Act - Employee vs. Client Engagement

Listen to our recent panel session from OPEN MINDS PMI on demand to discover employee and client engagement...

Next Resource
3 Mental Health Technologies That Boost Quality of Care
3 Mental Health Technologies That Boost Quality of Care

Take a deeper dive into the mental health technologies that can benefit the overall well-being of behaviora...