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What is the difference between Patient Experience and Patient Engagement?

October 17, 2013

I have been asked this question twice in the last 24 hours, so I thought I would post my response here.  Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this question.  

To differentiate Patient & Experience and Patient Engagement, I think it’s important to look at the goals of each.  The goals of Patient Experience are to increase patient loyalty, increase market share and exceed the Patient’s expectations.  The goals of Patient Engagement are to get folks invested in their own care by providing opportunities and structures for patients and their families to become active participants in healthcare.  The relationship is dynamic and reciprocal in nature, where as the Patient Experience work is more linear in terms of the healthcare organization making efforts to provide a positive patient experience.  Although many patient experience efforts rely on patient input, engagement relies on an on going partnering relationship.  


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  1. This is a very useful distinction which also suggests system-centric patient management versus system changing partnership that to me is the beating heart of patient and family centered care. From a hospital or clinic administrator’s point of view, “input” may feel like it has enough patient touch points and is more contained (safer) than broad partnership so this is a useful reminder for us all to steer expectations and work to “ongoing partnering”.

  2. Hi Naomi,
    We are really looking forward to welcoming our Georgia colleagues again this year! Thank you for sharing your exceptional work with the community. e

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  1. What is the difference between Patient Experience and Patient Engagement? | PFCC Partners
  2. Patient Experience and Patient Engagement – Is one more important? | hcldr

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