Today’s patients want to feel more in control of their healthcare decisions, and patient engagement tools can help them achieve it. While these tools are designed for patients, they hold big benefits for providers, too. They make it easier to coordinate care and can even increase direct communication with physicians. Patients who actively participate in their care and repayment are less likely to go delinquent and often exhibit cost-saving behaviors like taking advantage of preventative care.
There’s plenty of patient engagement tools you can choose from, but these six are the most sought after by patients and the most beneficial to healthcare providers in the long-term.
Emails are an incredibly underutilized form of patient-provider communication, according to a recent survey that reported only 68% of providers use email. Emailing your patients not only helps nurture stronger relationships with your facility, but it keeps your patients’ healthcare at the top of their minds. Upcoming appointments and due date reminders are standard uses for email, but you can also think bigger by using them to advertise related service offerings or share educational material.
Remote patient monitoring
Patients love the option of using mobile devices at home to take routine health tests or track a medical condition. It’s far more convenient than an in-person assessment and often less stressful for patients. For those patients with high-deductible plans, having an at-home option can sometimes save them money. Physicians like them because the convenience and other benefits for the patient increases the likelihood of completing the test and receiving proper treatment.
Like remote patient monitoring, telemedicine is a matter of convenience. When patients can’t make it into the office, they can still have that valuable face-to-face experience. The 24/7 access is a bonus for both healthcare companies and patients. Rather than a pricey visit to the emergency room or urgent care, patients can find cost-effective treatment for common or minor health concerns like colds, the flu, and allergies day or night.
Integrated patient portals
In healthcare, engagement really boils down to access. Studies have shown that patients (as much as 41%) would consider switching providers if it allowed them more complete access to their medical records. When records from specialists, labs, and physicians within the same system can be integrated, it ensures a higher quality of care for individuals across the board. Patients enjoy the freedom of not having to remember all the details of their medical and treatment history. Meanwhile, specialists and physicians can feel more confident in their treatment plans because they have all the information accurately displayed at their fingertips rather than relying on what patients decide or remember to relay.
As interest in patient engagement tools increase, so does measuring the patient experience. It’s important to capture your facility’s strengths and weakness when it comes to both treatment and customer service. After-care surveys—which can be easily outsourced to reputable, HIPAA-compliant call centers—are another avenue to collect these essential statistics to make your care even better and ensure your patients continue to choose your over the competition.
At their core, patient engagement tools are designed to shape meaningful relationships between patients and their healthcare providers. The more convenience and value providers can demonstrate to patients, the more likely they are to retain those patients and perhaps even attract their families and friends.