In the realm of modern healthcare, patient engagement is not merely a buzzword; it’s a transformative force reshaping the landscape of medical practices worldwide. Gone are the days when healthcare was a one-way street, where doctors/hospitals dictated and patients complied. Today, the paradigm is shifting towards collaborative care, where patients are active participants in their own health journey. This shift isn’t just about improving patient satisfaction; it’s about enhancing overall outcomes across the healthcare spectrum.

The most vulnerable time in a patient’s healthcare journey is during any transition of care, whether to the home or another healthcare setting. Transitions of care disrupt continuity of care, which is vital for effectively managing a patient’s needs. That is why actively engaging patients in their care plays a crucial role in ensuring patients receive the right care at the right time.  

Understanding Patient Engagement

At its core, patient engagement refers to the involvement of patients in their own healthcare. It encompasses a range of activities, from shared decision-making and treatment planning to self-management and health education. When patients are actively engaged, they become partners with their healthcare providers, working together to achieve optimal health outcomes.

Empowerment Through Knowledge

One of the most significant ways patient engagement improves outcomes is by empowering individuals with knowledge. Informed patients are better equipped to understand their conditions, treatment options, and potential outcomes. With access to information through online resources, support groups, and educational materials provided by healthcare professionals, patients can make more informed decisions about their health.

Moreover, engaged patients are more likely to adhere to treatment plans and follow preventive measures. By understanding the rationale behind medical recommendations, they feel motivated to take ownership of their health and adopt healthier behaviors. This proactive approach can lead to better management of chronic conditions, reduced hospital readmissions, and improved overall well-being.

Enhanced Communication and Trust

Effective communication is the cornerstone of patient engagement. When patients feel heard and valued by their healthcare providers, trust is fostered, leading to better outcomes. Open dialogue allows patients to express their concerns, preferences, and goals, enabling healthcare professionals to tailor treatment plans accordingly.

Furthermore, engaged patients are more likely to ask questions, seek clarification, and participate actively during medical consultations. This collaborative exchange of information promotes shared decision-making, where patients and providers work together to devise personalized care plans aligned with the patient’s needs and preferences.

Reduced Costs

When patients are engaged and empowered, they are more likely to follow treatment plans, adhere to medications, and make lifestyle changes that can prevent the need for more costly interventions down the line. Providers who engage with their patients throughout the journey are better able to direct patients to the appropriate level of high-quality care, providing an opportunity to control spend whether through readmission reduction or preventative interventions.

The Impact on Healthcare Outcomes

The benefits of patient engagement extend far beyond individual patients; they have ripple effects throughout the healthcare system. By fostering a culture of engagement, healthcare organizations can improve patient satisfaction, enhance care quality, and reduce healthcare costs.

Engaged patients are more likely to experience positive health outcomes, such as improved medication adherence, fewer complications, and faster recovery times. This, in turn, leads to lower rates of hospital admissions, emergency room visits, and unnecessary procedures, resulting in significant cost savings for healthcare payers and providers.

Leveraging Technology for Engagement and Streamlining Transitions

In the digital age, technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing patient engagement. From telemedicine platforms and mobile health apps to patient portals and wearable devices, technological innovations offer new avenues for patients to actively participate in their healthcare journey.

Technology can also be implemented to further engage all parties during transitions of care. Tools can be used to improve the communication of programs and services available to patients and families, as well as streamline communication to help coordinate care.


Patient engagement is not a fleeting trend but a fundamental principle reshaping the future of healthcare delivery. By empowering patients with knowledge, fostering open communication, leveraging technology, and promoting collaboration, healthcare providers can achieve better outcomes and ultimately, improve the health and well-being of populations worldwide. As we continue to embrace the ethos of patient-centered care, the potential for positive transformation in healthcare outcomes is limitless.

How Strata Health Can Help 

Strata Health is an all-in-one Referral Management Solution for hospitals and health systems. Using digital tools and automated workflows, our platform empowers care coordinators to orchestrate safe, seamless, and efficient transitions across the care continuum. In just a few clicks, you can create a curated list of care options, guide patient choice, complete forms digitally with integration to the electronic record, and manage the entire referral process electronically. Our best-fit technology uses intelligent algorithms to match patients to the most appropriate care provider or bed—improving efficiency and patient engagement while saving time and reducing costs.

With Strata Health’s suite of solutions, providers have the tools to engage with patients earlier in their care, make intelligent and informed care decisions, control spending, and improve overall outcomes.  

Contact us and learn more about how Strata Health can help your organization improve patient engagement and outcomes today.

About the Author

Marmmett Horton, MSW, ACM-SW, CMAC,
Senior Vice President & General Manager, Strata Health U.S. 

An experienced case manager and highly trusted advisor, Marmmett Horton is a steadying force, helping hospitals and health systems leverage digital technologies and solutions that optimize transitions of care processes, workflows, and compliances while improving patient and provider experiences. 

Now, the Senior Vice President and General Manager at Strata Health US, Marmmett is a noteworthy leader in the case management space, known for her passion and industry knowledge. She worked as a case manager for over 20 years, in both bedside and leadership positions, before moving into the vendor space 15 years ago, providing consulting and supportive products to case management programs. She is proud to lead the Strata U.S. business and a talented team committed to supporting hospitals, health systems and post-acute providers in achieving greater operating efficiencies, increased productivity, and more positive outcomes for patients during transitions of care. 

In addition to her Masters degree in Social Work (MSW), Marmmett also holds her Accredited Case Manager (ACM-SW) credentials and Case Management Administrator Certification (CMAC). Marmmett loves spending time in the company of family and friends and is an avid traveler and nature lover, enjoying time outdoors whether hiking in the mountains or participating in water activities. Connect with Marmett on LinkedIN

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