As providers approach the new year, it is no surprise that they need to be looking for new ways to get their patients involved. The world is constantly shifting in terms of how consumers engage with a product, and believe it or not, patients view their medical care in the same way. Patients do not want to take an active role in their personal health care simply because it is the best thing for their overall wellbeing. Providers have to help their patients understand the importance of patient engagement as well as give them tools that encourage them to develop a relationship with their provider. This relationship, should it be established correctly and with the right tools, has the potential to increase patient satisfaction, improve outcomes, build revenue, and improve efficiency. What are the tools and examples of patient engagement that providers need to model in 2019 to position themselves for success?
1) Patient Engagement with the Patient Portal
The patient portal is one of the most useful tools to increase patient engagement in any practice. With this tool, providers give patients a method to securely contact them through a message center, review their test/lab results, understand their medical history, schedule appointments, request prescription refills, and much more. Conveniently located on their mobile device or on any computer, the patient portal grows patient engagement rapidly by creating transparency and accessibility in healthcare. A patient is more likely to log on and ask questions, stay compliant with medications, and schedule regular appointments with a tool like this readily available to them. There are no secrets with the patient portal and this is the perfect example of patient engagement in 2019.
Patients who utilize the patient portal are more likely to stay involved with their providers by staying up to date on not only visits but test and labs as well, earning your practice more money. This patient engagement tool increases efficiency as well by relieving the workload that often falls on the front office staff to answer phone calls regarding appointment scheduling, refills, and questions. Acting as a one-stop hub for first step interactions, the patient portal is a key part of patient engagement.
2) Increased visits
While the patient portal does a great job of making sure patients remember their appointments and have no issue scheduling them, increased patient engagement means more visits in more ways than one. Through not only the patient portal but other tools like telehealth and the e-visit, providers with increased levels of patient engagement see and monumental increase in visits. Patients now have multiple ways to visit with their provider that no longer involve making a sometimes-inconvenient drive to the doctor’s office. This encourages them to meet with their provider when they previously would not have. What does this mean for providers? This means increased billing form visits from multiple avenues in 2019. To increase patient engagement and increase visits, providers must offer these options to their patients in the new year.
The third example of patient engagement in 2019 is Chronic Care Management. Both patient engagement and Chronic Care Management are patient-centered. If a provider has one in their toolkit, they have the ability to grow the other. How does patient engagement have the power to grow CCM? When a patient understands the services that are offered to them, why they need them, and how they can change their life, they are more likely to accurately utilize the services. Not only this, but they are more likely to hold themselves accountable throughout the process, resulting in more successful outcomes and better results for not only the patient, but the provider as well. When a chronically ill patient is fully engaged in their personal care, they are more likely to stay connected and on track with their treatment plan, stay compliant with medications, and ask follow-up questions as well as address concerns that could have previously gone undetected. The truth is that patient engagement and Chronic Care Management go hand in hand.
These three examples of patient engagement for 2019 are crucial for providers who want to position their patients to take control of their personal health. With patients who play in active role in their care, providers will see positive change in their outcomes, revenue, and efficiency at their practice.
Interested in using one of the above-mentioned examples of patient engagement at your practice? Contact our team to find out more.