Engaging Patients

Engaging patients as active participants in their disease management decisions is an important method to encourage adoption of and adherence to treatment recommendations that align with patients’ needs and preferences. Evidence-based, patient-centered approaches to facilitating engagement include shared decision making, motivational interviewing, and goal setting. Each of these approaches or techniques addresses a unique aspect of patient engagement and disease management support during the diabetes visit and can be applied to pre- and post-visit communication as well. Central to all is the importance of collaboration between patients and health care professionals to negotiate diabetes-related decisions. This section briefly introduces these three approaches to patient engagement and offers related tools and resources to help health care teams integrate them into practice.

Beyond these techniques, health care practices can also encourage patients to engage in their diabetes care by offering standardized education and access to patient health data and tools, such as through patient portals associated with electronic health records and other easily accessible channels.