In care management, there are certain must-have qualities a good care management system encompasses. These qualities can be broken down into five core competencies a good care management system explained in detail here:healthcatalyst.com/three-must-haves-of-an-effective-care-management-system These five core competencies are: 

  1. Data integration: The ability to pull data from multiple EMRs and other data sources, then aggregate, analyze, and make it available to the right people at the right time.
  2. Patient stratification and intake: Using analytics-driven decision making to identify high-risk, high-utilization patients. This tool also supplies care managers with prioritized work lists for interventions and greatly simplifies their work.
  3. Care coordination: The timely, all-inclusive care team communication and collaboration on patient assessments, care planning, and interventions.
  4. Patient engagement: Informing patients about their care planning and facilitating interaction among all care team members through application-based secure messaging, assessments, care planning and associated activities, and education.
  5. Performance measurement: Advanced reporting capabilities to show how the care team performed after analyzing and acting on the data provided.


The fourth core competency is Patient engagement which this article is going to discuss extensively. 

Patient engagement Informing patients about their care planning and facilitating interaction among all care team members through application-based secure messaging, assessments, care planning, and associated activities, and education.

Patient engagement is necessary for a patient-centered care management system. Engaging patients helps care systems not only identify their needs but predict potential needs and be proactive in solving them. One way to keep patients engaged is by having the proper communications system.This communication system facilitates a proper feedback system which is paramount for a holistic care management system. Having a properly functioning feedback system not only helps improve efficiency but also helps build trusting relationships between patients and care providers. A feedback system should begin at the beginning of the process not after. Having patient interviews at the start to identify their fears and help them ease into the complex procedures improves the overall care system at all levels. When patients have a proper understanding of their illness they don’t feel as overwhelmed and value the care team more and communicate better thus creating a vicious circle of efficient communication.

Healthcare researchers and practitioners have attributed the success to having a proper feedback system to the usage of the Mobile-first approach. The Mobile-first approach which comes in the form of smartphone apps or tablet apps enables secure, real-time, multi-point messaging, assessments, and care planning to engage and support all care team members (patients, friends, families, social workers, care navigators, etc.) across multiple EMRs.This patient-centered approach creates a momentum that improves the quality of care, patient satisfaction, and overall efficiency. Patient satisfaction is very important in care management because if a patient is unsatisfied in most cases it could be drastic. It could mean they are not healed properly or they are still ill. 

For this reason and several others, care management tools can never replace care manager humans. Care managers are advanced specialists who pull on threads of information to derive solutions where patients didn’t even know they needed help. The derive these solutions from interpersonal interactions with patients and are able to detect subtle cues, body language, and nonverbal communications. For example, if a patient is holding back information about their health state for fear of embarrassment, they can detect this and make the patient feel more comfortable and convince them to open up. Tools will never be able to replace this, but they can help guide decisions by leveraging all the data sitting under the hood of the care management platform.

The care management system guides, in real time, new decision-making pathways to drive better care for patients based on other patients with similar clinical conditions, similar socio-economic status, and similar ways of engaging in their own care. All this data gathering can help produce a clearer path. No matter how skilled the care manager, retaining and regularly analyzing all these insights is impossible for any one person. And like Amazon nudges its customers about what others have purchased, an effective care management system prompts clinicians on care considerations.

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