HIMSS and Health 2.0 European Conference

Thank you for attending the 2019 event.
We look forward to seeing you again 26-28 May 2020!

June 11-13, 2019 | Helsinki, Finland

Patient engagement and behaviour change

Are you engaged… enough?

Have you realised how intense the push for Engagement is these days? Your social media networks are begging for your attention. Your phone notifications are interrupting you (even if you choose to ignore them). Your colleagues are reminding you about that email. While your family is asking you to join them for dinner - at last.

Behaviour Change

Change is hard.
Behaviour Change is even harder.
And Behaviour Change is hardest when applied in healthcare.

Healthcare is the ultimate frontier of Behaviour Change

From weight control to smoking cessation to reducing alcohol consumption to taking our medications, Health Behaviour Change is everywhere. Not only that, but it is also growing in intensity and need, exactly because it is very hard to get right.

A good example is the challenge of medication adherence: your doctor (the ultimate authority for your medical condition, whom you are actually paying indirectly or even directly), asks you to take a pill (which you are also paying indirectly or even directly) – and …you don’t.

Behaviour change requires engagement…

Many have attempted quick and easy solutions, but most have failed. Persuading someone to change their behaviour does not simply require the expert knowledge and the right message. Without long-term engagement, understanding, mutual trust, and motivation, the message will fall on deaf ears and future attempts will be even less likely to succeed.

…and much more

Especially when it comes to patients, engagement and behaviour change are necessary – but not sufficient – for achieving the desired health outcomes. Here are some thoughts:

  • Patient Education: while even the most easily persuaded patient may change behaviours for a while, the right amount of information will make this change persistent and in the right direction.
  • Patient-friendliness: there is plenty of information and material out there. But only a very small portion is actually written with the lay person in mind. If you have googled your symptoms, you probably know what I mean.
  • Personalisation: we are all unique, and different approaches work for different people. Only with the appropriate level of personalisation will behaviour change be consistent and successful.
  • Quantification: how do you know if your weight loss efforts are working? The best way (for most people at least) is the scales. Tracking a number helps people work towards their goals.

What works for you? What do you need it for?

Join the discussion in Helsinki on June 13th, in the very aptly named session “Engagement and Behaviour Change for every age and stage”.

Thanos Kosmidis
CEO, Care Across
@ThanosKosmidis

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