An American online radio site, Health in 30, looks at patient engagement in the context of social media. With 4 women's experience and opinions, it makes for a varied read. The over-riding feeling is that engagement is not only necessary, but beneficial, and that online media offers a source for that.
It includes several different but equally valid definitions of patient engagement:
1. an active choice by a person seeking to understand or improve their health to acquire knowledge, share that knowledge with healthcare professionals and/or the patient community, and take some action or deliberate inaction towards a health goal that fits their personal circumstances and values.
2. It addresses the emotional, physical, spiritual and financial needs of a patient (and, when appropriate, the patient’s family). An engaged patient has the information, resources, tools and support he or she needs to live a life of quality, however the patient defines it.
Read the full article here.
As a fan of infographics (although this one could be improved design-wise!), here is one (Steve Wilkins, Smart Health Messaging) outlining some techniques and challenges in patient engagement.