As early as 9/18/15, I published a blog post regarding patient engagement which is worth a look- https://themedicalstrategist.com/blog/websites/how-to-encourage-patient-engagement/
Again, I highlighted the issue of patient engagement on 9/22/16 when I published a blog post called Engage Patients with your Portal where I explained the benefits of patient portals and the importance of having them.
Patients engage with their physicians
Patients take more active role in improving their health
Strengthens patient/doctor bonds
Fosters patient loyalty
Mistakes or updates on records are more quickly amended
According to David Clain, research manager at athenaResearch:
“If you are a patient at primary care practice or you have some cardiac issue and you have an ongoing relationship with a cardiologist, I think it’s really helpful to be able to continue the conversation outside of the office. And once you’ve done that a couple of times, you feel that connection to your provider, you have a sense that they are committed to your health and to ensure that you have good outcomes.”
Clain also says “The portal becomes sort of the hub for managing especially patients with chronic diseases outside the office, bringing them back into the practice when you need them. It’s not just how you get a patient to come in and fill a spot, but how you make sure that you see them often enough that you can really have a good handle on their health status and you can intervene early and often if you have to.”
Do you use a patient portal? Are you satisfied with the one you use? Please share your experiences and thoughts in the comment box below.
Surprisingly, portals are still not available at many physician online sites. Yet patients are looking to participate by logging onto them for the various applications within the portals.
As time progresses, social media sites, chat rooms and forums are used more widely to obtain solutions to health issues and to discuss various aspects of health in general.
An article appearing in Medscape, written by Michael Morgan revisits patient engagement and the reason heathcare professionals need to be concerned with it. (https://www.medicaleconomics.com/authors/michael-morgan)
Healthcare consumers now expect more from providers. Patients want tools that are flexible and easy-to-use to help them meet their health needs, According to a report by Deloitte, patients want user-friendly tools to meet their health needs and demand more from their providers.
Providers need a single place for communication control offering multiple channels to connect with patients, based on their preference and convenience.
Rethinking patient engagement
It’s now vital for doctors and health providers to consider patients as customers and engage with them via the same channels that other businesses use to build and nurture relationships.
Consider that mobile is already a primary means of communication for many consumers with a survey by Flurry Analytics finding that the average U.S. consumer now spends up to five hours per day on their mobile devices.
For providers, tasks such as phone-calls for lab results, reminders and scheduling that previously required hours of manual administrative work within the practice, can now be easily automated with portal devices linked to professional websites. Patients can complete pre-intake forms, take pictures of insurance cards or medicine bottles, fill out surveys, and even make payments—all with less active interaction needed from providers. This is a time saver not only for patients but for doctors as well.
The 2018 Future of Health: Digital Health report from EY noted that nearly 70% of physicians believe digital health technology will reduce costs and help reduce the burden on doctors and nurses.
“Engagement with digital technology for health is gaining momentum, driven by a desire to improve wellness and underpinned by convenience. Technology is seen as one of the key enablers of seeing health as a lifelong journey,” according to the Digital Health report.
Collaboration platforms offer efficiency and engagement
Typically, single-point solutions were added to a provider’s workflow as new technologies and trends came to market making errors more common and leaving staff frustrated and burned out by working on laborious, administrative activities.
For improved patient experiences and more engaged consumers, healthcare providers need to consider how their various tools work together. After all, technology should simplify tasks, not make them more complicated.
According to Michael Morgan, “A comprehensive collaboration or customer relationship management (CRM) platform that combines patient engagement with provider communications and internal productivity solutions offer practices more effective options to reach patients in ways that they could never do previously. Advanced solutions, like HIPAA-compliant secure text, let physicians use pictures and videos to capture patient symptoms, send educational materials or lab results, file patient conversations for future reference, and alert patients when follow-up care is required.”
This confirms what I have believed for a long time. If you want compliant patients and improved results, you have to engage patients and educate them as to their options as well as why the options are suggested.
Patients want to be empowered and engaged. Evidence of this is the study showing 8 out of 10 patients don’t make appointments with a physician nowadays until after checking that doctor out online.
If you are not yet participating online and have a good website, I strongly suggest that the time is now!
Need help? Give a shout at 561-325-9664. Speak to you then!