Patient Engagement and Hospital Readmissions: 

The Role of Health Literacy

Prinicpal Investigator:  Robert Weech-Maldonado, MBA, PhD

Project Discription:

Value-based reimbursement in health care has resulted in an increasing focus on patient engagement as a mechanism to improve post-acute care outcomes, particularly in reducing readmissions. However, interventions to address patient engagement should account for health literacy and generational differences. Strategies that may work with a high literacy population may not be as effective among a population with low literacy. Similarly, strategies used with millennials may not be as effective among baby boomers. The purpose of this research project is to: 1) conduct a systematic literature of the relationships among health literacy, generational differences, patient engagement, and hospital readmissions; 2) identify best practices of health system strategies to address barriers related to health literacy and generational differences to increase patient engagement and ultimately reduce hospital readmissions; and 3) propose a pilot project based on literature review findings.

How is this differenct than related research:

Prior research has focused on the relationship between patient engagement and health outcomes. However, there has been relatively little research examining how health literacy and generational differences can influence patient engagement and readmission rates, as well as the health system strategies to address barriers related to health literacy and generational differences.

Benefits to industry:

This project will provide the foundation for future interventions of health system strategies to address barriers related to health literacy and generational differences, increase patient engagement, and improve patient outcomes.