Research shows that patient and family engagement in healthcare leads to measureable improvements in safety, quality, and satisfaction of care. Health IT can facilitate patient engagement via the use of patient portals, social media, and tracking vitals or symptoms with wearable technology or mobile apps. Health IT also helps patients and their families more actively participate in their own health and wellness at any point of interaction with the healthcare system. Some funded health IT research projects that are targeting to improve patient and family engagement include:
Dr. Carmela Alcantara from Columbia University is conducting research with non–English-proficient Hispanic patients with insomnia and behavioral health providers to develop a cultural adaptation of an existing cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia program, an interactive program that can be delivered via tablet, smartphone, or computer and has been effective at reducing insomnia symptoms and co-occurring psychological symptoms.
Dr. Mary Reed from the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute is conducting a study to understand who chooses telemedicine and for what health issues. The research also assesses whether telemedicine impacts the safety and quality of primary care by examining adherence to recommended healthcare guidelines and increased ED visits and hospital admissions. Kaiser Permanente Northern California began offering patient-initiated primary care telemedicine visits in 2016. All patients self-scheduling appointments with a primary care provider through their patient portal were able to choose from a traditional in-person visit or a telemedicine visit conducted by video or telephone.