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8 Reasons why Patient Engagement in Healthcare is necessary in 2022
The world truly underwent an overhaul with COVID-19. The shift from physical to digital fastened and so did the rate at which businesses embraced it. Healthcare practitioners and organizations now look at digital systems as a compulsory aspect to stay competitive and improve patient loyalty. Patient engagement in times like this has become a necessity. In 2022, patients prefer seamless interactions over complex communications in any healthcare setting. But the question that we seek an answer to is why patient engagement in healthcare is important. Like any other customer or consumer, patients have the right to access frictionless care and relevant communication.
In this article, we will cover why patient engagement needs to be an integral part of your business strategy in 2022.
Importance of patient engagement in healthcare
Every consumer is accustomed to groceries in 10 mins, pizza in less than 30 minutes, and more across every industry. Consumers or customers are used to a high level of convenience and timely delivery. Smart healthcare practitioners also need to meet this change in customer expectations. There is increased focus on letting the patient ‘know’ more to ‘engage’ more.
Patient engagement in healthcare begins much before the patient steps into the clinic or hospital. It begins when the patient looks at the clinic’s name on a listing or reads a review. Due to this, it is important to engage with patients in a digital format. Here are 8 reasons why patient engagement in healthcare is necessary for 2022.
Challenges to Patient Engagement in Healthcare
There are certain challenges to patient engagement. These barriers block patient engagement processes. The main challenges for healthcare providers or physicians in the process of promoting patient engagement include-
Lack of modern technology
It is important to invest in technology to keep patients engaged. You need to align a communication platform or solution that helps in this regard.
Not allocating dedicated time
Patient engagement must receive dedicated time. You need to be able to allocate some time to patients before, during, and after their treatment. This will create a stronger bond.
Training health care executives is essential. If they are not trained to access online platforms or special tools, they will not be able to use them to their full potential.
Not taking patient feedback
Patient engagement can be improved if we take patient feedback seriously. One challenge for patients is not feeling heard or listened to. If the patient is feeling difficult to involve in their own healthcare process, you need to bridge the gap.
8 Reasons why patient engagement in healthcare is more crucial than ever
#1: Improved Patient engagement = Better Outcomes
One of the main reasons why patient engagement in healthcare is important is that Improved patient engagement leads to a better patient experience. When the patients can handle their appointments, queries, and scheduling in a simple manner- they are satisfied with the overall experience. A positive patient engagement leads to better outcomes. Patients who are engaged know when to book the next appointment, and how they can do it easily without worry or hassle. So when the patient is happy with the process, you can expect increased ROI, trust in the clinic, and most importantly, increased patient loyalty.
#2: Enhanced patient satisfaction
In a study, it was found that patients are satisfied if they are engaged. This is related to positive outcomes of success in heart attack patients. The study explicitly demonstrates as to why patient engagement is important and how patient care satisfaction results in their health outcomes. In another study by The Beryl Institute, over 2000 patients from the United States, Australia, Canada, Philippines, and the UK, the relationship between patient satisfaction and positive outcomes was reinforced. Improving patient engagement in healthcare increases patient satisfaction since they know they will be communicated of all changes, reinforcements, appointment schedules, and more.
#3: Better patient retention
Put yourself in the shoes of a patient. Suppose you go to a dentist for treating a root canal issue and the treatment works well. However, post a few days, you face a sharp pain in the same area. You seek an appointment as soon as you can. If the clinic you went to before has a problem scheduling your appointment due to a lack of smart practices, you would simply choose another dental clinic.
Compare this to if you could book an appointment with a simple text and indicate the sense of emergency, wouldn’t that help your situation and enable you to stick to the same provider? This is where patient engagement tools like Emitrr allow for increased patient retention. As a healthcare professional, your priority should be to enhance the quality of care for your patients, which is why patient engagement is important for you. Your patients know they can easily know any information they want and book an appointment.
#4: Improved online ratings
If your patients are engaged, they will post feedback about the service. Reviews and ratings give a facelift to the brand and shape how others perceive it. If your patients are engaged, they will mention how the process of connecting with the doctor, booking an appointment, and availing of treatment was effortless. This will create credibility around the clinic and ensure quality relationships are built.
Even before choosing a restaurant, customers are going through reviews on Google, Yelp, and other platforms. For an aspect as important as healthcare, the amount of scrutiny taken by a consumer/patient is even more; which is why patient engagement is important for you to focus on.
#5: Increased productivity and higher margins
If employees are able to smartly get all the patient information in an automated fashion, their work is simpler. This improves their productivity. Clinics and healthcare practitioners with better engagement strategies have higher profit margins. This is because patients that are connected, in time, have all the digital records, and enjoy a seamless process. This can be noticed in this study by NCBI where it was observed that patient engagement and patient satisfaction provided great results. It was also noticed that the program led to improved productivity, employee satisfaction, and overall recognition.
#6: Communication is Simpler
Patient communication is important more than ever post COVID-19 as it directly impacts patient engagement in healthcare. Healthcare organizations need to communicate frequently with patients. This keeps them engaged and wanting to keep in touch with the clinic or health care practice. Healthcare clinics must implement top-class communication strategies to keep customers engaged. Patient-provider communication channels need to be clear, safe, reliable, and quick. If the channel is slow, delayed, and cumbersome, the chances of engagement being fruitful are less.
#7: Convenient for patients
Another reason you need to focus on patient engagement in healthcare is that it becomes easier for patients to connect or contact the clinic. This will even help you deliver personalized patient experiences. Since patients have changing expectations, communication can ensure the clinic management or health care executives know about the requirements. It is convenient for patients to book an appointment and add it to their calendar, be reminded about it, and not lose association with you.
#8: Re-evaluation and feedback
A staunch focus on patient engagement in healthcare leads to improved re-evaluation and feedback processes. Since patients can communicate easily, they can share feedback easily as well. If there was an issue they faced, they can voice it to the administrative department of the clinic. This will help take constructive action and prevent any clashes or turnovers. It also allows for the executive teams to re-evaluate how their processes are and reinvent them to fill gaps.
Patient engagement in healthcare starts online and is an important factor that nearly 96% of patients consider while choosing a healthcare provider. Regardless, it is important to embrace and examine patient engagement practices to lead to greater value for both doctors as well as the patient. Adopting a digital approach with a smart tool like Emitrr will lead to improved performance, enhanced patient engagement, and easier collaboration.
Suppose you are a healthcare provider, clinic owner, physician, or dental practice owner. In that case, you can improve your ratings, manage your reviews, ensure appointments are booked and enhance patient communication through Emitrr’s capabilities. Digitize your practice with Emitrr, and ensure no patient is lost or left. Build smart automated processes and respond to patient feedback quickly.
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