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Historically, clinicians, for the most part, approach patient engagement activities using traditional thinking and concepts versus skillful conversation and partnership enhancing strategies to making "real" patient engagement happen. Moving into an effective engagement clinical model requires a paradigm shift in thinking by clinicians and providers alike. It's this paradigm shift, or lack of it, that can affect the success or failure of patient engagement activities.

We may not realize it, but as providers, we talk a lot about what we can do to make something happen for the patient (e.g., bedside rounds and shift report, patient representative on our Boards, use of special tools, EMRs), but rarely do we hear providers talk about using special skills to engage and activate the patient's role in managing his or her health.