These days, engaging and empowering patients to take an active role in their own care is a top priority for healthcare practices of all shapes and sizes. Providers are increasingly recognizing the many benefits to strong patient engagement, such as better care outcomes and reducing healthcare spending.
To boost engagement and deliver patient-centric care, healthcare organizations need a comprehensive strategy and the right technology in place. Though patient engagement technology has been gaining momentum in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked significant adoption of these solutions. There are various types of patient engagement technology, including solutions designed for:
- Patient portals
- Telehealth services
- Automated outreach
- Digital patient check-in
- Remote patient monitoring
- Online bill payments
- Healthcare analytics
Let’s take a look at how healthcare practices are taking advantage of highly effective, beneficial technologies to improve patient engagement.
Providing Convenient Online Appointment Scheduling Options
Nobody likes a no-show. For providers, the struggle to reduce no-shows is all too real. On top of that, today’s tech-savvy consumers appreciate the option to book, change, and cancel appointments online at their own convenience. In fact, up to 30 percent of healthcare consumers have left a provider’s office due to a long wait, and 20 percent have switched providers entirely for the same reason.
That’s why countless healthcare practices are partnering with patient engagement technology vendors to offer digital appointment schedule capabilities. Investing in online scheduling tools is beneficial for both patients and providers. Patients gain access to convenient, self-service solutions that align with modern consumer expectations.
Practices benefit from increased patient satisfaction levels, minimal negative reviews, and significant cost savings due to streamlined workflows and increased adherence in compliance with showing up to appointments. Practice staff are also able to minimize the no-show appointments and waiting room backlogs, thanks to automated reminders via text message, email, or phone.
Engaging Patients Remotely by Offering Virtual Care Visits
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way healthcare practices deliver care, rapidly accelerating the adoption of telehealth services to engage with patients remotely. Virtual care tools enable practices to build and maintain patient-provider relationships remotely and keep patients healthy and engaged between in-person office visits.
There are other benefits to virtual care delivery as well. For example, telehealth services have the ability to increase access to care in rural and underserved communities. Additionally, telehealth check-in visits between appointments can help improve adherence to medications and treatment plans, ultimately increasing the likelihood of positive health outcomes.
Sending Targeted Surveys to Patients Between Office Visits
Sending automated surveys between office visits offers healthcare practices an effective way to check in with different patient populations and monitor how they’re doing. Providers can assess their patients’ functional statuses by automating surveys based on specific criteria of their choosing, such as lab values, pain levels, prescribed medications, diagnoses, procedures, and more.
Many healthcare practices take it a step further by analyzing the survey responses and taking the appropriate actions to improve patient reported outcomes (PROs) on a case-by-case basis. Along with delivering better patient management that results in healthier outcomes, practices can collect feedback to measure and improve on patient satisfaction.
Automated surveys can also play a vital role in improving the health of populations and working toward meeting value-based care initiatives. Proactive outreach can make all the difference when it comes to managing at-risk chronic care populations and reconnecting with patients who have become disengaged over time and are less likely to take an active role in their own care.
Improving Patient Engagement with the Right Digital Solutions
The examples highlighted in this article are just a few ways healthcare practices are using patient engagement technology to encourage healthy behaviors, active involvement, and shared decision-making—and there’s no doubt we’ll continue to see many more embracing digital solutions in the days ahead.
The patient journey no longer begins and ends with in-office visits. Rather, orchestrated patient engagement—or engaging patients throughout each stage of their journey with solutions that work in harmony—is the future of healthcare. Finding ways to engage patients before, during, and between visits is essential for aligning with modern consumer expectations, empowering patients to become their own care advocates, maintaining a competitive edge to increase retention, and improving health outcomes.
That said, healthcare practices need access to the right tools to drive strong patient engagement, both during and after the pandemic. With integrated solutions to support their efforts, practices can encourage, empower, and engage patients to manage their own health with you as a trusted partner.