7 Common patient engagement myths debunked

7 Common patient engagement myths debunked

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By: Melissa Kozak, RN, BSN, Co-Founder and President, CitusHealth

Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden need for digital health, technology has taken patient care beyond a clinical relationship into a deeper connection that provides collaboration, comfort, and education to patients and family caregivers—ultimately leading to increased engagement and satisfaction.

This patient-first approach is present in every other area of our lives as consumers, with the ability to have anything delivered to our homes at any time of day—and that same preference needs to be extended to healthcare. In what’s widely accepted as a new normal, patients are choosing how they want to connect with their providers, which is why you need to offer multiple ways to engage with patients and their family caregivers.

The days of being available to patients only during a window of office hours is a thing of the past. Now that people have the freedom and flexibility to choose convenience, it’s time to rethink how we engage with patients.

Here are seven patient engagement myths and why they’re completely untrue.

Myth 1: Patient care can only happen in person.

With the right digital tools and solutions, providers can be more available to patients and family caregivers for urgent needs and questions, which can help prevent unnecessary rehospitalizations, increase provider touchpoints, and result in higher quality care.

In addition, less time spent on travel to patient homes and the ability for staff to do more with less can lower operational costs for your organization.

Myth 2: Quality patient care cannot be scaled.

Digital tools allow staff to care for more patients more frequently. With the ability to answer questions in real time, get mid-visit updates, stay up to date on critical changes, send patient education, and more—staff works more efficiently, allowing your organization to grow.

Myth 3: Patient care relationships can only be nurtured in person or via voice.

Due to care teams and on-demand education being just a click away, patient relationships are elevated when care is hybrid or virtual. This ability to connect with care teams on a deeper level empowers patients and their families, resulting in stronger relationships and higher satisfaction.

Myth 4: Patient care is only about medical care.

Emotional support, education, family support, comfort during a stressful time, and social determinants of health are just a few examples of how care can go beyond just a medical focus with the right digital platform.

Myth 5: Patient engagement has nothing to do with patient care.

Patient engagement has everything to do with patient care. It prioritizes safety, makes operations more efficient, provides education, and empowers patients and their families.

Myth 6: Patient care requires staff to not be selfish.

It’s not uncommon for staff to give out private phone numbers, remain available 24/7, and feel guilty when taking any moment for themselves. The truth is, providing quality care does not require staff to forego a work-life balance. If staff are feeling 100%, they can give 100% when doing their jobs—and that requires making self-care a priority.

Myth 7: Administrative tasks should take up most of the care team’s time.

Nurses become nurses to take care of patients—not do paperwork. Innovative digital tools can help remove the busy work, the extra trips, the multitude of phone calls, and everything else in between that takes the focus away from what matters most: patient care.

The pandemic taught us that virtual and hybrid care are not only possible but are supportive of improved patient care. Providers that continue to operate as they always have will fail to replace manual processes and archaic communication platforms—ultimately failing to engage patients on a deeper level.


Request a demo to experience how CitusHealth can help your organization evolve into this new era of patient communication, collaboration, and connection.

Melissa Kozak
Melissa Kozak
RN, BSN, Co-Founder, President, CitusHealth

As a registered nurse, Melissa has a deep understanding of the post-acute industry. Her extensive clinical care and operational insight led her to become the visionary entrepreneur she is today. With CitusHealth, she’s created our industry’s first end-to-end digital health collaboration platform to solve the complexities of managing post-acute continuum of care and patient and family engagement challenges.