Patient engagement can improve diagnosis and health outcomes when patients are active members of the healthcare team. Many options to improve patient engagement in integrated care are available, such as shared decision making, motivational interviewing, and warm handoffs. For example, a recent article in Pediatrics, Increasing Mental Health Engagement From Primary Care: The Potential Role of Family Navigation, concludes that patient navigators, or individuals with experience in navigating the mental health system, can serve as promising partners to improve patient engagement in mental health services.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is developing tools and resources to help improve patient engagement. Examples include:
- The Question Builder mobile app, launched by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, allows patients to enter details about their future appointments and organize questions and other information. Patients can also use the app to make notes during their medical visit.
Think Cultural Health, an e-learning program, was designed to help behavioral health professionals increase their cultural and linguistic competency. The program includes four courses to introduce core concepts, increase self-awareness, increase awareness of the client’s cultural identity, and identify culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions and services.