Patient Engagement: Automated or Personal?

According to the Brookings Institute, patient engagement is a key step in improving the overall health of the patient and lowering total medical expenses. Clearly, engagement is important. The best way to achieve the desired outcome, however, is up for debate. In keeping communication lines open with patients, should medical care professionals lean more toward automated or personal engagement?

Automated Engagement

The benefits of automated engagement are straightforward. By investing in an automated system, care facilities are able to free up their staff to focus on medical-related tasks rather than tying up their time in making an endless stream of phone calls.

By leveraging the power of the internet, care providers can save both time and money.

The internet is an excellent medium for providing anytime, anywhere access, and patient portals are highly effective for channeling that medium to health care consumers (H&HN).

As our world becomes increasingly digital, it makes sense that the health world takes advantage of the changes.

Personal Engagement

Despite the fact that we have clearly entered the digital age, not everyone has fully adjusted to the shift.

According to the Pew Research Center, 13% of all Americans don’t use the internet, and 32% don’t have smartphones. For such individuals, automated engagement will prove impossible. Online portals and automated texts will not reach them.

Therefore, despite the clear value of automated systems, some people will still require a personal touch.


Perhaps, in the end, a blend of the two systems is best. The key for healthcare providers is in knowing each patient’s situation and acting accordingly.

Since the overall goal is to ensure the overall health and well-being of each patient, it just makes sense to meet people where they are.