As far as most of us are concerned, " being engaged,” means each party says, "YES". The problem with many of us in healthcare is that we're forcing too many things to patients and we set unreasonable expectations but we don't do enough to earn their commitment. Worse, the most fundamental building block called "relationship" is either one way or in most cases, it does not exist.
Take patient adherence to treatment as an example, we are dissatisfied about low adherence rates to treatment but let's ponder about these... Aside from assurance that the treatment will help them get better, do we at least invite them to share their health or treatment goals with us, do we bother to ask how they could squeeze in regular infusions into their busy lives, do we help them prepare for the rigors associated with our proposed interventions... do we take the time to know them better, deeper?
Patient engagement programs abound but from our research, it's the little things, the simple guidance, and the feel good moments that go a long way to get patients to commit and say, "Yes", I'm in.