What is Patient Enablement and How Can You Measure It?

An enabled patient taking control of her health by doing daily exercises.

Patient enablement is an emerging and vital approach to ensure holistic, patient-centered care delivery. It marries the journey with a patient’s potential to manage their steps as effectively as possible and in a patient-friendly manner.

Introducing appropriate patient enablement processes and technologies allow patients to actively participate in their medical treatment journey with minimal influence from the health care provider. While enablement is perceived to be an indicator of the benefits of self-efficacy, it is typically associated with habits like self-care and adherence to treatment.

Quick Takeaways

  • Enabled patients have access to information, are confident to make decisions, are open to learning, and are ready for change and growth.
  • Three key metrics that highlight the success of patient enablement are patient satisfaction, patients’ assessment on the performance of the caregivers, and the patients’ view on the ideal healthcare standards.
  • Patient Enablement Instrument (PEI) is an effective tool that you can use to evaluate your patient satisfaction towards your healthcare delivery because of its reliable consistency.

Elements of Patient Enablement

Enablement fosters power in patients to act on issues that they deem crucial in their lives and society. The vital elements of patient enablement include:

Enablement Measures for Surgery Patients

Here are some relevant patient enablement measures you can do to achieve your set objectives:

  • Assess the organization of care and the patient-doctor relationship to help you provide better care procedures.
  • To reinforce better patient outcomes, evaluate the patient’s satisfaction with care, health status, compliance, and coping.
  • Evaluate the effect of the procedures of patient involvement in varying levels, including feedback systems and service design.
  • Observe the patients’ preferences

3 Factors to Consider When Measuring Patient Enablement

Measurement of enablement requires the assessment of three vital areas:

1. Patients’ Outlook on the Standards of Healthcare

When measuring the patients’ views on the quality of healthcare, you should consider the following

Patient Preferences

Preferences describe an individual’s or a group of patients’ priorities which influence their perception about their treatment.

To measure preferences, you will need to utilize qualitative measurements, group or individual interviews. For comprehensive insights into the patients’ preferences, combine the qualitative methods with the quantitative measurements. It’s recommendable to use surveys or consensus techniques like Delphi (forecasting relying on a panel of experts) or other nominal group techniques


Sample HCAHPS Survey Form
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Evaluations are generally the patients’ reactions to their healthcare experience if the outcome or the care process was good or bad. The most effective method to measure the

experience is through a written questionnaire with rating scales. Qualitative methods can be applicable, but they are time-consuming, and their reliability and validity are not promised.

Healthcare Reports

A healthcare report represents the patients’ views on the quality of healthcare. It represents the patients’ objective observations about the care process or the organization, regardless of their preferences.

How can you use the data from the patient’s views to improve patient enablement quality?

  • Implementing the patients’ preferences during care
  • Increasing patient involvement in healthcare through patient organizations and involvement in guidelines
  • Providing the data to those giving and seeking healthcare

2. Patient Satisfaction

Patient satisfaction measures how happy a patient is with the health care they are receiving. Understanding what does and does not satisfy a patient is needed to prioritize patient satisfaction in your health care delivery. The most commonly used metric to measure patient satisfaction within a health care center is patient retention.

What to measure here is the care coordination, the providers’ empathy, and communication skills of the healthcare givers. Get feedback on individual doctors or caregivers that associate with the patient. Like in the measurement of the patients’ outlook of the quality of healthcare, use custom-tailored surveys.

3. Patient’s Evaluation on the Doctor’s Performance

Improving the sensitivity of the after-surgery care requires a significant understanding of the patient’s expectations in healthcare. The expectations might differ across different cultures and healthcare systems. For general health care practices, the top priorities of patients include:

  • Quick services
  • Explanation of the uses of medicine
  • Taking appointments on short notice
  • Confidentiality
  • Ample time to air their grievances, talk, and explain issues
  • Freedom to have any discussions with the caregiver
  • Explanations for the need for tests and treatment

You can use varied measurement methods for personalized organization results from written surveys and sampling to consensus discussions.

Outcome evaluation provides the basis for organizations to upgrade their healthcare delivery and gain a competitive edge in the healthcare market. If you have already implemented policies focused on enhancing surgical services delivery, you need a tool to measure their effectiveness and determine if departments need fixing.

Patient Enablement Instrument (PEI)
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How to Measure Patient Enablement

The Patient Enablement Instrument (PEI) is an effective tool that you can use to evaluate your patients’ perception of their overall healthcare delivery because of its reliable

consistency. It has good construct validity, content validity, and high internal consistencies, making it the most viable tool to measure enablement for post-surgery patients.

Typically, PEI comprises six questionnaire items that patients fill after a medical session or consultation. The questions target the patient’s ability to understand their illness, cope with life, keep themselves healthy, help themselves, and be confident with their condition.

All items in the PEI work to measure the same concept, which is patient enablement. The more positive responses you will get the more it will show your enablement measures are effective.

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