Patient engagement doesn’t end after the doctor visit concludes. In fact, the goal of patient engagement is to get individuals to take an active role in their own health care, whether they have an impending medical appointment or not.
By engaging patients in their own health care, physicians can see a number of benefits, including improved patient health, lower hospital admission and readmission rates, reduced cost of care, increased patient retention and a better financial well being.
As Patient Engagement HIT reported, increased patient-physician engagement can improve outcomes and mediate small care needs, thus reducing cost to the organization.
Making the best use of customized technology systems is key to engaging patients after they visit the doctor’s office. Here are just a few ways to keep patients engaged with technology solutions:
Once patients return home, they may have trouble remembering an important piece of information that was discussed during the visit. In the days and weeks following an appointment, it can be helpful to have a summary of the visit, should patients need to relay their recent care history to anyone else.
An optimized patient engagement system that gives patients access to visit summaries can keep them engaged even when life gets busy.
It’s common practice to send patients home with printed instructions and educational materials about new medicines, conditions or chronic ailments. It’s also likely that most of those documents end up missing or tossed into the recycling bin.
Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative explained that giving patients ownership over their care can improve quality outcomes. Therefore, making educational materials available via a properly integrated patient engagement platform not only reduces paper waste, it also gives patients constant access to this important information.
This means they can stay engaged with their current treatment plans without needing to resort to potentially misleading information online.
Patients don’t like to wait around for a call from the lab. If they are away from home or can’t pick up their smartphone, they could easily miss the call and have to wait to receive important information. The harder it is to retrieve this information, the less engaged the patient becomes.
By putting lab results online, where patients can access them through a secure, private connection, engagement levels remain high. Patients can access this information as soon as it’s available, and they can refer back to it at a later date, if necessary.
“Patients can request medication refills online.”
Patients with chronic conditions such as asthma need to regularly refill prescriptions which don’t require them to visit the doctor’s office. However, they may still need to call the office so that a member of the administrative staff can send an electronic prescription to the local pharmacy.
This is an example where technology solutions can make life easier for everyone. Requesting medication refills online saves time for patients and medical personnel alike. Plus, patients remain engaged in their own health care because it’s easier for them to get the care they need without spending too much time or too many resources.
When people are satisfied with a product or service they will frequently tell a friend or family member. However, it usually requires the friend or family member to inquire about the experience before the testimonial is given.
Healthcare is no different in this regard, but benefits greatly from word of mouth referrals. So it only makes sense to encourage patients to share their positive experience with as wide an audience as possible. By providing invitations to leave feedback on sites that prospective patients visit, a practice can improve its chances at finding new patients. In addition, post visit surveys are a great way to learn how you can further improve the patient experience than can lead to further referrals.