The heart of patient engagement may be in Cleveland

Cleveland Clinic wants its patients involved — fully involved.

It starts with opening access to services, functions and information that previously had been hidden or hard to get to. 

Cleveland Clinic's MyChart personal health record is at the heart of the initiative, which has been ongoing for more than a year.

The system sees five steps to improving patient engagement:

  • Open access scheduling makes it easier for patients to get appointments with their doctors.
  • Improved and deep patient education ensures that patients fully understand their care plans and expectations are set appropriately.
  • An "Open Medical Records Policy" allows patients to view comprehensive information online.
  • The patient portal provides "two-way messaging" so patients and caregivers can keep lines of communication open.
  • And Cleveland Clinic allows for patients to enter their own data into their records so that caregivers can follow patient progress between office visits.

The key ingredient here is communication. And plenty of it.

“In a world defined by health care reform, we see a big role for this kind of communication in coaching patients and eliminating unnecessary office visits,” said David Levin, MD, chief medical information officer at the Cleveland Clinic, in an interview with HealthcareITNews.

Cleveland Clinic's webpage is one of the most patient-centric in health care. There are at least six easy-to-find areas to log in, get help or make an appointment. Detailed health information is only a click or two away. And if you hang on the page a few minutes (and you'll want to!), you'll be prompted for a live chat.

Now that's putting the patient first.

This post originally appeared on, a blog dedicated to advancing patient and family-centered care. I am a member of the Engaging Patients Advisory Board and write for the blog. 

Source: Healthcare Technology Online