Empower Patients with Patient Engagement Solutions
In one study, compared to those who received average patient engagement efforts, patients given higher levels of interaction and help to make healthcare choices were found to:
- Be admitted to the hospital 12.5% less
- Have 20.9% fewer preference-sensitive heart surgeries
- Spend 5.3% less on their medical needs
Another study found that patients using a patient engagement platform gave their providers higher satisfaction scores. Plus, 84% of consumers searching for new medical providers looked for those using patient engagement solutions and technologies.
You provide telehealth services, and your patients are fairly well engaged with your providers. Yet, you still have an opportunity to unlock the full power of patient engagement, which can improve your patient retention, as well as improving their health outcomes.
What Is Patient Engagement?
Patient engagement involves a better two-way relationship between providers and patients. In contrast to the average patient, engaged patients learn more about their symptoms and possible treatments. They make more informed decisions and participate more fully in their own health management. You could even think of “patient empowerment” as a synonym for engagement.
At the same time, healthcare providers focused on engagement also partner more fully with patients, their families, and patient representatives. All parties form a team. Providers also motivate patients, educate them about their health, and help them take healthy actions. Finally, this philosophy may even be reflected in the policies of the whole organization.
How Does Patient Engagement Improve Outcomes?
The benefits of patient engagement appear on several fronts. First, if patients have felt disengaged from past providers, they suddenly feel more satisfied with a healthcare team that educates them and respects their individuality and freedom to choose.
Second, imagine a patient who has put time, energy, and research into making a healthcare decision. She will understand its reason and be more motivated to see it through, even if it’s difficult. And she’ll be more likely to comply with new provider suggestions that support her general decision.
Third, providers who use an engagement program also understand their own patients better than ever before. Patients tell them more. The whole team tends to know more about what each patient needs and various treatments that can help him.
Why Is It Important to Include Patients in Their Care?
What if you could get your patients to participate in their own healthcare a little more? What if they had a better relationship with you and received communication, reminders, and education? What if your technologies made them more engaged?
Patients like that are more likely to remember their checkups. They know what stage of their healthcare journey they have reached. They feel they are making progress—with a provider who has their best interests in mind. Plus, if you have helped them learn healthier behaviors and ask better questions, they’ll trust you even more.
When patients realize they’re part of a comprehensive engagement program, they naturally are less inclined to go to a different provider. They don’t want to lose their progress by starting over somewhere else. Nor do they want to explain their situation to a new provider who might not empathize as much as their current one.
What Are Patient Engagement Tools?
Technologies that enhance patient engagement often include mobile features, which let patients complete required actions on their smartphones. Tools can also deliver health education, along with helping patients communicate with providers more easily.
A simple example is an online patient portal. On it, patients can complete their paperwork digitally, instead of using a paper form. This frees up a healthcare team’s time, reducing their data entry work. Plus, some patients prefer to complete forms on their own devices. Patients can also ask questions through a portal, and providers can answer them when they have time.
What Is Patient Engagement Technology?
These technologies are often comprehensive patient engagement solutions, suites of software which can provide features such as:
- Registration: New patients can complete their initial forms electronically.
- Education: Providers can send targeted resources to patients based on their conditions.
- Communication: Patients and providers can securely send and receive private information.
- Refills: Patients can ask for prescription refills, sometimes without an additional appointment.
- Scheduling: Patients can electronically request an appointment within the time slots a practice has available.
- Reminders: Automated reminders help patients keep their appointments.
- Payments: Patients can pay more quickly online.
- Downloads and Transmissions: Patients can download their protected health information (PHI) or transfer it.
Frontline’s patient engagement solutions include many of these features, along with others. These technologies can enhance your existing telehealth services, increasing patient satisfaction and retention. Contact us to find out how we can partner with your practice, using behavioral techniques to engage your patients in the healthcare process more fully.