Patient engagement is key to achieving a sustainable and effective healthcare system focused on providing patients with the knowledge to make more informed decisions. The goal is to involve patients in their own healthcare plan to achieve healthy outcomes, provide better care, and reduce the stress and financial burden caused by healthcare expenses. It’s proven that patients who are engaged drive better results and are likely to be healthier.
Active engagement encourages your patients to learn more about their healthcare procedures and make the best decisions for their situation. While healthcare staff work on monitoring the health of the patient over time, patients will be completely aware of the processes and will cooperate for their own welfare. There are numerous benefits of informing and educating patients, such as:
Better Relationship Between Patients and Medical Practices. Patient engagement tools help you inform your patients about upcoming appointments by sending reminders and keeping the patient’s medical and health records handy. These interactive activities involve patients in their treatment and create a better relationships with your staff.
Better Decision-making by Providing Patients With Proper Tools. Patient engagement tools help patients understand their ailments by presenting relevant health and wellness information that is trusted and easy to understand. An educated patient knows about the process and procedures they have to go through and can be a part of decision-making.
Consistent Follow-ups With Patients. Patient engagement doesn’t stop at the clinics. The applications and tools designed to educate your patients encourage them to keep following up with their specialists and be a part of their healthcare regimen. It results in avoiding no-shows and sudden illness and avoiding recurring issues.
Improved Treatment Plans. Tools like electronic health records, electronic medical records, and healthcare customer relationship management helps in collecting and organizing the medical records of the patients like test reports, vaccinations history, clinical history, imaging details, demographics, behavior patterns, and even social media activities. All this data contributes to providing personalized care and services to your patient which creates more trust and cooperation.
Enhancing Health Literacy Improves the Patient Experience
It is a vital step in educating your patients and engaging them in the process. Knowing the health literacy level is the first step for the clinician as any education will be useless if the patient doesn’t understand the basic health services and information needed to make decisions. To make this easier, engagement tools leverage the health literacy assessments to comprehend a patient’s understanding and subsequently create a path for educating and helping them in making informed decisions.
You can engage your patients through personal interactions. Like in any market, knowing your patients’ wants and needs is important. It might be more important in healthcare because the service you’re providing is deeply personal. If you do not know your patients very well, how can you provide the best possible service for him or her? Without being fully aware of your patients’ needs and wants, your engagement strategy will be ineffective and may not succeed. You can make your service more personalized with the use of a customer journey map and marketing technology.
There are multiple tools used by the healthcare industry for patient engagement and education. Some important ways in which the tools help patients are:
Scheduling Appointments. The tools are automated to check for the overdue appointments by monitoring the history of your patient’s visits and reminding them to set up appointments with the specialist. This helps in promoting responsible behavior among the patients by notifying them about the need to fix appointments and stay engaged in their treatment process. This is useful particularly for patients with chronic ailments as they could be prone to skip appointments.
Educating Patients. Educating the patient is the cornerstone of the engagement tools and they rely on highly accredited healthcare organizations to author patient education content based on their expertise. The content can be customized by patient and can be shared via newsletters, emails, social media posts, patient portals, and display ads. Studies have shown that educating patients during their treatment process has a positive impact and patients involvement is increased as well.
Effective Communication. There are applications that can be downloaded by your patients to their cell phones which can monitor the activities and save information related to patients’ clinical history and background. The patient-friendly application can be used by anyone without hassle to connect to their specialist in case of any emergencies. The medication reminder is an important feature of the application which notifies the patient about the medicines to be consumed.
It Comes Down to You
Ultimately, however, the role of improving patient engagement lies in the hand of the physicians. Doctors can help improve patient engagement through frequent contact with their patients, by providing attentive care, and by referring them to other physicians. All the physicians in your healthcare facility must be on board when it comes to patient engagement. If this is the case, then you can expect to see improved performance and excellent results.