patient engagement

Patient engagement is the extent to which patients become actively involved in their healthcare journey. To build and nurture engagement with patients, healthcare practitioners need to deploy strategies that encourage patients to make informed decisions with respect to their overall health and well-being. 

With the healthcare industry becoming more patient-centered, healthcare professionals need to deliver personalized care, thereby improving overall patient experience. 

If you are a healthcare professional desperately looking for answers to improving patient engagement; this is your go-to guide! Explore the importance and benefits of patient engagement, the trends governing patient interaction, the challenges faced by healthcare professionals, and some actionable strategies to implement to boost patient communication. 

Patient engagement is the process of involving patients in their overall healthcare journey. It includes connecting with patients at various touchpoints across their journey and providing personalized care. When the care is more patient-centric and the patient is constantly empowered to make informed decisions about their health; the engagement will be high. 

A strong focus on patient communication leads to improved health outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, reduced costs, and an improved clinician experience. In this dynamic environment, it’s crucial for healthcare providers to keep their patients connected by focusing on sharing information, taking responsibility, and ensuring a comprehensive approach to patient involvement.

Patient engagement refers to the ease with which patients can connect with healthcare organizations and actively interact with representatives or executives who facilitate meaningful conversations and provide timely information—both before, during, and after visits.

Prioritizing engagement of patients in your healthcare practice is essential for offering improved assistance to your patients. Essentially, patient communication and engagement is the way healthcare providers structure their interactions with patients to achieve more favorable outcomes.

Here are some benefits of patient engagement: 

Patient engagement is crucial for fostering a proactive healthcare environment. It not only strengthens the doctor-patient relationship but also empowers individuals to actively participate in their own well-being. By promoting communication, understanding, and collaboration, patient engagement plays a pivotal role in improving overall health outcomes. 

When a patient is constantly motivated and empowered to actively participate in their healthcare process and make informed decisions about their health; they develop trust with the provider. Patient interaction fosters a strong connection, making patients feel that the healthcare provider genuinely cares. This not only helps in preventing missed appointments but also contributes to higher retention rates.

Engaging with patients using tools and technology can be cost-effective. Partnering with the right technology can help efficiently manage tasks at scale, reducing resource costs. With proper patient engagement strategies in place, the staff can save 3-4 hours of daily time, and focus on other important tasks at hand. 

$150,000,000,000. This is the cost that healthcare organizations bear every year as a result of missed appointments. Nearly one-third of patients don’t show up for their appointments because they simply forgot. As a healthcare practitioner, it is important to keep your patients engaged even before they visit you. This includes sending them appointment reminders to ensure that they do not miss out on their appointments. 

Engaged patients are more likely to get frequent health checkups, constantly follow up with their providers, and develop preventive behavior to ensure better overall health. When they take care of themselves and actively engage in improving their well-being, they will avoid any readmissions or intense intervention from the provider. 

One of the major trends that have emerged over the past few years is the constant focus on strengthening doctor-patient communication. With the healthcare industry becoming more consumer-centric, patients are being presented with personalized services that meet their needs. The drive to deliver a good patient experience is urging providers to ensure smooth communication with the patients. 

A digital transformation is undoubtedly the future of the healthcare industry and is here to stay. The rising focus on technology and its rapid penetration in the healthcare industry has opened doors of growth for all healthcare organizations, as it helps reduce any operational inefficiencies and healthcare costs. Digitization is important to encourage deeper doctor-patient relationships and increased patient satisfaction levels.   

Omnichannel healthcare has become a vital part of healthcare communication and patient interaction. Patients need transparency in care, on-demand and personalized healthcare, and real-time support. Omnichannel healthcare is fulfilling all these patient needs by allowing patients to gain more control over their health outcomes. Not only that, it has helped providers restructure and streamline their workflows.   

Patients have now become more interested in their health and want to be upfront with every bit of information about their health. Owing to this increasing inclination, it is important for healthcare providers to keep their patients engaged by equipping them with the necessary information about their health, including their conditions, diagnosis, and medical treatment plans.

Patients have now taken control of the steering wheel of their health, actively engaging in self-symptom management. Owing to this trend, healthcare organizations are becoming more proactive towards delivering excellent care, with an aim to increase patient loyalty.

Ensuring effective patient communication in healthcare comes with a set of challenges that need careful consideration. In a rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, where digital technologies play a significant role, addressing these challenges is crucial for maintaining a strong connection between healthcare providers and their patients. 

Here are the top challenges faced in healthcare patient engagement:

Varied levels of health literacy among patients pose a challenge. Understanding medical information, and treatment plans, and navigating the healthcare system can be daunting for some individuals. Addressing these education gaps is crucial for fostering effective patient communiation.

Generic communication and one-size-fits-all approaches may fall short of engaging patients effectively. Tailoring information and services to individual needs and preferences is a challenging yet necessary aspect of fostering successful patient engagement.

For effective patient communication, it is crucial to maintain strong doctor-patient relationships. When a patient is constantly empowered and continually taken care of, they develop a level of trust with their provider. However, that’s not the case with all healthcare providers. Any complex communication can act as a barrier to developing trust and thus impact overall patient engagement. 

Introducing new technologies or altering traditional methods may face resistance from both patients and healthcare staff. Overcoming this resistance and seamlessly integrating new tools into existing workflows is a common hurdle in achieving successful patient engagement.

It is important for patients to trust their healthcare providers, as the absence of trust will not help them achieve the desired health outcomes. Factors that lead to a lack of trust can be limited cultural competency on the part of the healthcare provider.

In order to streamline processes and deliver the best patient experience, automating engagement process is the best way forward. With automation, you will not have to involve your healthcare staff with every tiny thing such as billing, appointment scheduling, or documentation. With automation, you can reduce no-shows, decrease cancellations, and skim down long waiting lines. You can fix reminders to ensure slots are filled for in-person patient care. This will save considerable time and effort and will help you deliver timely, coordinated, and personalized care throughout the patient journey.  

To boost engagement, seamless doctor-patient communication is an important prerequisite. Make sure that your patients don’t have any trouble reaching out to you. As a provider, you need to provide care outside the walls of your clinic, and that’s possible when you make it easy for patients to contact you. You can leverage text messaging for the same, through which you can access important details, answer queries, and provide personalized care. 

Patient education is core to the patient engagement strategy. Patient education is using skills, resources, knowledge, and attitudes to influence patient behavior. This can be through blogs, newsletters, and more. The process of patient education starts with using technology to encourage the patient’s interest. It is also important to involve the patient’s family in the patient teaching or patient education process. This also creates authority on the subject and your clinic can be viewed as a thought leader. It has been found that patient education makes it easier for patients to turn up for an appointment since they know what to expect and are mentally prepared for it. 

It is a data-driven world and patient data drives business decisions. With artificial intelligence, you can understand patterns of patient communication, drivers, motivations, and more. You can leverage these insights and preferences to meet patient demands. Data needs to be a foundational factor in your patient engagement strategy to decrease gaps in care. You can provide consistent engagement only if you know where to improve. For example, healthcare practitioners can: 

  • Understand what concerns patients face at the clinic- hygiene, staff attitude, etc. 
  • Find out what channels patients prefer for communication- text, social media, or call
  • Work on improving patient outcomes through follow-up phone calls

Quality care is not something that only occurs when you diagnose the problem and provide treatment. It starts the moment a patient books an appointment and continues even when the patient has received treatment from you and is recovering. You need to be proactive throughout the course of the patient’s healthcare journey and offer care at various touchpoints. 

When it comes to providing quality care, the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. You need to personalize engagement for every patient and ensure that they achieve their health outcomes. Ensure to provide assistance pertaining to scheduled checkups, health screenings, reputation management, medication monitoring, and emotional aspects. This will help you build a strong relationship with your patient, understand their needs, and provide care that best fits those needs. 

Always make sure to measure the success of your patient engagement efforts. With a patient interaction software like Emitrr, you can easily track the delivery rate and response rate of your messages, and with the analysis, you can tweak your strategies accordingly. 

Just like you prepare strategies to simplify patient communication, you also need to put in effort to simplify the process of scheduling, rescheduling, and cancellation of appointments. Not only will it reduce no-shows but will also reduce manual appointment scheduling significantly. By allowing patients to schedule appointments in real-time, you can reduce hundreds of hours spent on patient calls, and further reduce the burden on your staff. 

A patient engagement software brings the technology to make smart, swift, and better decisions. You can improve patient engagement levels, increase productivity levels, and provide assistance 24/7. For example, Emitrr is a patient communication service that offers a one-stop solution for all patient communication. Healthcare providers can interact with patients via chat, phone, and text. Patient interaction can be automated through recalls, reminders, asking for reviews, etc. Emitrr’s smartphone system can be integrated with your existing CRM to improve outcomes for the provider.

The increasing digitization of the healthcare industry, organizations need to focus on engaging their patients by offering them a smooth digital health journey. Thanks to the pandemic, there has been an acceleration in the adoption of digital health tools and interactions have become more virtual. 

In fact, digital technologies have made access to healthcare easier and have enabled patients to seamlessly navigate complex healthcare systems and connect meaningfully with the healthcare providers. 

With digital patient engagement, patients are more likely to be proactively engaged in their healthcare process, make positive changes in their lifestyle, and achieve better health outcomes. 

As a healthcare provider, here’s how you can embrace digital patient engagement: 

  • Simplify patient communication for better engagement by leveraging text messaging
  • Understand the nature of communication to derive high patient interaction rates
  • Optimise content; keeping messages short and crisp, easily comprehensible by the patient
  • Send encouraging messages to patients to minimize patient anxiety and build trust 
  • Use data to analyse patient behaviour and outreach 

With a patient engagement solution can Emitrr, you can fulfill all your patient interaction goals and improve your patient retention and satisfaction rates. 

Here are some actionable goals that you can achieve with Emitrr’s capabilities: 

  • Ensure no phone calls are missed 
  • Automate patient communication 
  • Remind patients or patients about their clinic visits 
  • Manage appointment scheduling 
  • Reduce average handling time 
  • Increase conversions by maintaining contact with patients 
  • Reduce no-shows
  • Increase care adherence 
  • Save resources and time

Emitrr offers an intuitive platform with minimal learning, 100% uptime, and a user-friendly design, ensuring efficient patient communication and a 100% success rate. This patient texting software streamlines healthcare operations through seamless integration with existing EMR/EHR/PMS systems, excelling in automation for enhanced efficiency. Also, With 24/7 premium support across all plans, Emitrr ensures consistent and dedicated assistance, making it a trusted partner in your healthcare journey.

What factors influence patient engagement?

Various factors such as the patient’s health literacy levels, cultural and educational background, emotions, expectations of care, and their relationship with their provider collectively influence patient engagement.

What are the barriers to patient engagement?

Lack of patient education, poor communication, limited access to healthcare, and resistance to change are some challenges pertaining to patient engagement.

How do you promote patient engagement?

To promote patient engagement, you must educate patients about their healthcare journey, engage directly with them, automate the process of appointment scheduling, deliver continuous care, and simplify patient communication.

What are the goals of Patient Engagement?

The main goal of patient engagement is to encourage patients to participate actively in their care process, enhance their understanding of the suggested treatment plan, and enhance their health outcomes.

What are the five levels of patient engagement?

Self-information search, inquiry, two-way communication, constant discussion, and partnership are the five key levels of patient engagement. 

Why is Patient Engagement Software important?

Patient engagement software is a vital tool to improve patient satisfaction, retain patients, enhance staff productivity, improve patient communication, automate manual tasks, improve patient education, boost patient acquisition, and improve overall online reputation. 

All in all, patient engagement stands as the locus for healthcare professionals and patients to interact and give/receive care. Though patient interaction has its own benefits and challenges, it is something that cannot be ignored. If you are a healthcare professional looking forward to building patient trust, acquiring more patients, and growing your practice, then patient communication is what you need to direct all your focus on. Are you excited to explore how Emitrr can help you boost patient engagement at your practice? Book a demo and find out! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *