Patient Engagement
Talk
Increase Compliance by Providing Actual Solutions (03:51)

How can we increase patient compliance? By providing actual solutions, according to Punam Keller, Associate Dean for Innovation and Growth at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. No barrier is too small when it comes to a patient’s difficulty with following instructions for better health. Take patients who need to weigh themselves — what if they can’t see the scale? Or, what if they’re supposed to track individual pounds, but they can’t tell if they’ve gained two or lost three because their scale only shows five pound intervals? For an individual in danger of a heart attack, for example, these difficulties become major barriers. “So many of the patients we spoke to said they couldn’t even tell if it was two or three pounds, and that is unfortunately all it takes,” Keller says.

So what can we do? Keller lays out three steps:

Step 1: Identify patient barriers.

Identify all the barriers that patients are facing, Keller says.

Step 2: Identify solutions to overcome those barriers.

“This is where your service providers can help, and that includes the physicians,” Keller says, describing how she’s working with a team to help patients in wheelchairs weigh themselves by using a tire pressure gauge.

Step 3: Create behavior change tools for service providers.

Keller conducted a study during which these kinds of examples, such as inability to weigh yourself, were shared with patients directly. Then, patients were asked if they could foresee any similar challenges, or wanted to address challenges they’ve already had. These were written down on cards, with “concerns” and “solutions” clearly labeled — “we didn’t say ‘barrier,’ we just said ‘concern’ because that’s much nicer,” Keller explains — and the cards were then given to the patient as they exited the hospital.

From the NEJM Catalyst event Patient Engagement: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health at the University of Pennsylvania, February 25, 2016. Watch Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4 of Keller’s talk.

More From Patient Engagement
How the EpxSubstanceUse Substance Use Disorder Mobile Health Texting Program Works - Preferred Family Healthcare Epharmix Technology Assisted Care Coordination Project Opioid Abuse

Messaging System Helps Caregivers Keep Tabs on Growing Number of Patients with Substance Use Disorder

One behavioral health provider pilots cost-effective outreach to patients with SUD that checks up on their recovery, triages needs, and facilitates communication.

Gary Kaplan Head Shot

Improving Patient Involvement in Care

The CEO of Virginia Mason on facilitating and enhancing patient participation in care.

Chou01_pullquote_Time to Start Using Evidence-Based Approaches to Patient-Provider Communication

Time to Start Using Evidence-Based Approaches to Patient Engagement

Clinicians must acknowledge that there is a dramatic difference between learning a concept about patient-provider communication and learning the actual skills for effective execution.

Nash01_pullquote - A Requiem for Value-Based Care Population Health.

A Requiem for Population Health?

Despite some fits and starts for value-based care, there is abundant evidence that the concept will continue to survive and thrive.

Steps for Deploying Nudge Unit in Health Care

Nudge Units to Improve the Delivery of Health Care

Key information and important choices are constantly being presented in health care. Yet often the frames or default options used are selected without attention to strategic goals.

Example Cost of Custom-Built PRO Collection Platform

The Cost of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Medicine

Implementation of routine PRO collection is paramount to measuring and maximizing value in health care.

Mentoring, Education, and Engagement: An Employee Training Technique to Improve Patient Experience and Employee Satisfaction

How open communication and one-to-one mentoring generated team spirit and a learning environment.

Face-to-Face Group Sessions Are the Most Useful Mode of Communication in Health Social Networks

Survey Snapshot: Patient Networks Are Important for Outcomes

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members overwhelmingly agree that social networks can impact chronic diseases and healthy behaviors, but time commitment and funding prevent their prevalence.

Consumerism in Health Care

Will personalized interventions transform how we improve an individual’s health? A frequent-flier expert believes that it will.

Chronic Disease Management and Healthy Behavior Promotion Are the Best Uses of Health Social Networks

Patient Engagement Survey: Social Networks to Improve Patient Health

Social networks — both face-to-face and virtual — have been shown to positively impact behaviors such as weight loss and smoking cessation. Is the health care industry ready to more widely leverage this mechanism for increasing healthy behaviors among patients?

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

Topics

Messaging System Helps Caregivers Keep Tabs…

One behavioral health provider pilots cost-effective outreach to patients with SUD that checks up on…

Patients As Customers

99 Articles

Time to Start Using Evidence-Based Approaches…

Clinicians must acknowledge that there is a dramatic difference between learning a concept about patient-provider…

Patient Incentives

58 Articles

Improving Patient Involvement in Care

The CEO of Virginia Mason on facilitating and enhancing patient participation in care.

Insights Council

Have a voice. Join other health care leaders effecting change, shaping tomorrow.

Apply Now