Accessibility, transparency, and communication are critical components to patient engagement and loyalty. Patients want to be included in the decisions related to their health journey and want a streamlined, easy way to do so. Patient engagement improves the overall health and awareness of patients and can lower overall costs for your organization.
As technology advances in our everyday lives, the healthcare process must advance with it. In order to keep patient engagement and loyalty high, providers have to offer services that are in line with the digital advancements so readily available in every other aspect of a patient’s life.
Virtual care centers, telehealth visit options, mobile apps, access to educational resources, AI data management, and 24/7 online chat options are just a few engagement solutions that patients are looking for when they consider their healthcare options.
Let’s explore why these solutions are a necessity for increased engagement.
Patients Want Flexible Care Options
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of healthcare, but it has also changed patients’ wants and needs. Patients are no longer satisfied with standard practices and lack of flexible care options. The global health crisis has made patients more aware of their health — it has encouraged them to demand more control and involvement in their care and experience. The restrictions patients faced during lockdowns and quarantines have driven the push for more flexible and accessible care options.
The pandemic has made telehealth a more prevalent service and a necessity for most patients. During difficult and isolating times, patients need the option of video and audio conferencing with their care team, as their health and safety is their top priority.
After testing positive for COVID-19, many patients could not physically travel to a healthcare provider’s office, whether it was due to their illness rendering them too weak, mandatory quarantine to limit the spread, or a lack of access to their familial support system.
Flexible care options are not just for times of global crisis, though. Patients want access to everything they need in a transparent, fast, and responsive way. Even before the pandemic, over 50% of patients expected their providers to have digital platforms. They want to make an emergency appointment with their care team with ease, not by waiting on the phone for hours while being redirected to other departments. They want their results as soon as they’re available, not when their provider is available. They want to be able to message their provider with their critical questions regardless of office hours, or schedule a telehealth call in the middle of the night.
Flexible care is an essential solution and growing demand for patients with chronic illnesses. Providing access to telehealth, chat features, and easy scheduling are ways to improve the quality of care these patients receive while reducing any additional frustrations they may have in managing their illnesses. Without access to flexible care options, patients suffering from chronic illnesses can run the risk of delayed treatment, worsened conditions, and higher medical costs for both patients and providers.
A Care Management platform is an easy patient engagement solution that provides patients with flexible care options. Through this option, providers can give their patients everything they need to keep them engaged, healthy, and loyal. Healthcare apps are becoming more prevalent in healthcare practices — they allow patients to schedule appointments, keep track of their medical records and results, contact their care team easily, stay informed on their health journey, and get transparency in their care plan.
The healthcare app, while extremely valuable to the patient, also benefits the provider and the entire care team. COVID-19 burnout has swept the nation’s doctors and nurses, as has a shortage of healthcare professionals. Allowing patients to have transparent access to their healthcare via an app decreases the volume of phone calls, office visits and unnecessary hospital stays. This low barrier to care access also encourages patients to be more proactive with reporting symptoms, reducing repeat in-patient visits.
Patients who want a more active role in their care and demand flexible care options are more engaged patients. By providing these patient engagement solutions, providers can keep their patients engaged in their health journey, ultimately improving their patients’ health while boosting their bottom line.
Measure Insights From Healthcare Analytics and AI
Analyzing patient behavior is an important step in engagement. Healthcare analytics is a patient engagement solution that allows providers to offer high-quality care for their patients while simultaneously improving their care team’s productivity.
Through the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics software, providers can better understand and predict patient behavior. AI patient engagement solutions allow providers to parse more health information than ever before. Using the reports generated by AI, providers and their care teams can better create and customize each individual patient’s care plan.
AI healthcare analytics can also provide insight and assist with risk assessment by identifying high-risk patients and aiding providers in outreach and care plan strategies. They also offer the opportunity to improve patients’ lives and assist patients when they need help most. Through voice-enabled tools, personalized mobile app features, constantly available chatbots, and the ability to diagnose or identify diseases, AI patient engagement solutions empower patients to take control over their health and identify their next steps.
Patients are not the only ones who can benefit from AI engagement solutions and healthcare analytics, though. Increased care team productivity is another byproduct. The manual processes that take up so much of a healthcare team’s time are streamlined through AI technology. As a practice uses AI-enabled solutions more often, the technology measures insights and analyzes patterns and behaviors, which leads to a lower risk of human error and a boost in productivity. These solutions can increase patient engagement by allowing providers and care teams to spend that newly found time with their patients, delivering more accurate and personalized care.
Assess the Performance of the Care Team
Patient engagement solutions allow more intuitive assessment of care team performance, which can improve efficiency and quality of care.
Patient engagement software, like mobile apps and 24/7 chat features, can provide valuable feedback from patients that can aid in assessing a care team’s performance and efficiency.
Patients can leave direct feedback regarding their experience during an in-person visit, phone call, or video call, and rate their satisfaction while navigating the app. Patient satisfaction scores play a pivotal role in assessing a team’s performance and creating informed, valuable changes to processes. Through such feedback, a care team has the opportunity to increase patient engagement, make improvements, build a deeper connection with patients, and discover which points of care carry the strongest impact.
While assessing care team performance, a provider may discover where engagement and patient satisfaction is faltering. If multiple patients are reporting negative feedback regarding scheduling, care coordinators can reassess and address the roadblocks. Implementing patient engagement solutions can help find and resolve impediments your patients and care teams face and assess the efficiency of your program, leading to greater patient satisfaction.
Use Automation To Improve Patient Experience
Automation is a solution that promotes a patient’s involvement in their health journey, ensures patient activation, and reduces administrative workloads.
Through tools like automated appointment reminders, surveys, and customized, targeted messaging, providers can offer the strongest support to their patients between visits.
Sending automated appointment reminders via text, email, or app notifications ensures that patients won’t miss their appointment and cuts back on no-shows through easy cancellation options.
Providers and their administrators can also integrate each provider’s schedule for automation, allowing patients to schedule appointments with ease and receive up-to-date information on availability. Eliminating the long and tedious process of over-the-phone scheduling has the potential to improve the patient experience as well as the patient’s health, as it allows the patient to follow through with scheduling an appointment — instead of hanging up in frustration. Post-care surveys can be automated as well, ensuring the important follow-up is not missed.
Through targeted automated messaging, providers can engage their patients with important health education and reminders to schedule follow-up appointments; this builds trust in the patient-provider relationship and ultimately improves each patient’s health journey.
Automation can improve administrative productivity, too. By automating redundant, tedious tasks, your care team can redirect their time to improving patient engagement and ensuring patients’ needs are met. When patients are more engaged in their care and have access to automated tools that can help with scheduling, care teams have more bandwidth to focus on patient care.
Create a Patient Management Workflow
When it comes to patient engagement solutions, utilizing a patient management workflow is a sure-fire way to engage patients.
Welkin’s customizable patient management workflow platform allows providers to create a seamless, organized process that boosts patient engagement and care team productivity.
Digitizing patient records, consent forms, and having a comprehensive patient profile, allows your care team to easily access all information in one place. This cuts back on administrative tasks, allows you to focus on building the best patient-provider relationship and create a care-centric practice. Patient management workflows create an opportunity to further engage with your patient, by having a clearer understanding of their overall health journey and progress, through the use of charts, graphs, and patient assessments.
Enhance Patient Communication and Loyalty
Ultimately, patient engagement solutions enhance patient-provider communication and patient loyalty. Communication creates a strong patient-provider relationship built on trust and empathy.
Offering these solutions makes for a seamless, easily accessible, and engaging patient-centered care strategy. When patients can easily access their health journey plan, schedule appointments, and get their questions answered, they remain loyal and engaged.
Open communication between providers and patients leads to better health outcomes, more efficient care teams, loyalty, and higher engagement. Allowing patients to provide valuable feedback based on their care experience will in turn lead to valuable changes to care processes.
Through enhanced patient communication, you will make patients feel that their voice is heard and that they aren’t just another name on a file. Patient feedback and communication allows providers to adapt to each individual patient’s needs.
The Use of Technology Improves Patient Engagement
Patients are seeking flexible care options that allow them to play an active role in their care. With technology an ever-present resource at their disposal, patients need their healthcare to be as accessible as everything else in their life.
By utilizing patient engagement technology like telehealth, mobile apps, post-care surveys, automation, AI, and 24/7 chat features, providers can enhance their patient-provider relationships and increase patient engagement while ensuring loyalty and care plan compliance.
These technologies are becoming a growing patient requirement and play a key role when it comes to choosing a provider. Patients want to be more involved in their health journey, and patient engagement technology is the best solution to providing advanced and engaging patient-centered care. Learn more about patient engagement here.