Informatics Approaches to Enhance Patient Engagement
Patient engagement in their own care is essential to improve health outcomes and reduce cost. However, patient-engagement cannot be a one-sided issue. To be engaged fully, patients need to be well-informed, and supported by right healthcare providers who meet their needs and preferences. This presentation will discuss projects on enhancing patient engagement in self-management through informatics approach. Dr.Lee has engaged community residents to assess their needs and understand their circumstances in order to improve their decision making and self-management skills. Mainly, this presentation will present the project, “Online Health Information Seeking Behaviors of Hispanics in New York City”, which has been based on the understanding of what makes people utilize the Internet for searching medical information, and how this type of information-seeking affects their health behaviors. The study is built upon the Washington Heights/Inwood Informatics Infrastructure for Comparative Effectiveness Research (WICER) project. Using the WICER community health survey data collected in a medically underserved area of northern Manhattan, she examined factors associated with, and health behaviors related to, online health information-seeking behaviors (HISBs) among Hispanics. This is the first large-scale study of online HISBs in the Hispanic population. Through the study, she found factors associated with online HISBs among Hispanics which merit closer examination. Furthermore, the study found a positive association between online HISBs and selected health behaviors (fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity) that suggests the potential value of online HISBs as a prerequisite for behavior in the Hispanic community. Although conclusions from one single study should be interpreted carefully, the data in this study suggest potential avenues for informatics-based health interventions among the underserved population: 1) Social Networking Service (SNS) as a platform for informatics-based interventions; 2) Improving health communication: eHealth literacy and data visualization; and 3) Increasing engagement of aged population into Personal Health Records (PHRs).