Today, health care practices must meet new industry standards that emphasize outcomes instead of services delivered. Focusing on patient engagement can improve efficiency, reduce out-migration and reduce overall costs of patient care.
Exact patient engagement means –
True patient engagement is not just patient communication or education; nor is it simply implementing online patient portals. True patient engagement refers to:
- The knowledge, skills, ability and willingness of patients to manage their own and family members’ health and care
- The culture of the health care organization that prioritizes and supports patient engagement
- The active collaboration between patients and providers to design, manage and achieve positive health outcomes
Why patient engagement is essential?
Patient engagement has always been a good thing to strive for in health care practices. Today, however, patient engagement is an essential strategy for achieving what the Institute for Healthcare Improvement calls the “triple aim” of health care:
- Improving the experience of care,
- Improving the health of populations and
- Reducing per capita costs of health care
Specifically, patient engagement can help health care practices to improve the patient experience.
How to achieve it?
To successfully achieve patient engagement in your health care practice, consider these five elements:
- Define your organization’s vision for patient engagement
- Create a culture of engagement
- Employ the right technology and services
- Empower patients to become collaborators in their care
- Chart progress and be ready to change and adapt
What difference does it make?
While patient experience and patient engagement are linked, they are not the same thing. Engaged patients maintain a stronger attachment to their medical practices, and experience greater value, trust and quality in their care which lead to greater satisfaction and empowerment and an improved patient experience.
Technology Use is Evolving!
- Automated secure messaging can be used as a medical appointment reminder, to deliver test results, remind patients of a medication schedule, alert them in the event of a weather closure, or promote an upcoming immunization clinic or other population health event
- In addition, live operator services, including after-hours answering services, can improve a practice’s schedule density, office efficiency, and self-pay collections rate by handling overflow calls during peak hours and offering live operator support to patients after business hours
Employ the right technology and services
Having the right technology and services is key to successful patient engagement.
- Patient portals can enhance patient-provider communication and enable patients to check test results, refill prescriptions, review their medical record, and view education materials
- Patient portals can streamline administrative tasks such as registration, scheduling appointments, and patient reminders
- Educate patients about what kinds of communication are appropriate via the portal, how and when providers will use messaging, and when to check the portal for lab results
Patient engagement is a continuous process of collaboration between patients and providers that is essential to achieving the triple aim of health care. Our patient engagement model focuses on an integrated platform of customizable services for practices that help align incentives, build relationships and create efficient behaviors with the use of appropriate technology. We continue to introduce new services and accelerate the introduction of high-value innovation to empower your patients and your practice.