Providers work hard to make sure their patients are equipped with what they need to maintain healthy active lives. Even if a provider works hard to do this, they can only accomplish so much on their own. It is important that their patient play an operational role in making sure they are well. When a patient is active in their personal care, it is referred to as patient engagement. This essential component of health care adds to the rest to make sure patients understand the different parts of their personal health that contribute to their overall well being. Increased patient engagement means a more developed patient-provider relationship that catches red-flags and prevents health disasters in the lives of patients. It creates an atmosphere for communication, education, compliance, and understanding that is not achievable when patient engagement is not part of the equation. The question is, does increased patient engagement lower costs? Yes, it does! It lowers costs for both patient and provider.
Increased Patient Engagement Lowers Patient Costs
Increased patient engagement lowers costs by encouraging patients to take charge of different aspects of their personal care that have been avoided in the past, costing them more money.
1) Prescription Compliance
An area that patients have avoided for several reasons in the past is prescription compliance. Whether their prescriptions were unaffordable, they didn’t understand why they were taking them, or they forgot to take them, patients who were not engaged in their personal care were not staying compliant with their prescriptions. This was costing some patients more in the long run because they were not being administered the medicine they needed to improve their health, so they would spend more on Emergency Department visits or expensive tests later down the road. Increased patient engagement means patients are playing a more active role in their care. They are asking more questions about their prescriptions, learning about what they do and why they are taking them. They communicate with their provider to find the most affordable option for them, saving them money on their prescriptions. Lastly, increased patient engagement means providers have more patients who are compliant with their medications, avoiding those expensive ED visits later on.
2) Decreased Emergency Department Visits
Just like how a patient being more compliant with their prescriptions reduces ED visits, Increased patient engagement accomplishes this in other areas as well. Patients who are disengaged from their healthcare providers do not go in for their regular appointments, they do not go in when symptoms arise, nor do they contact their providers with questions and concerns. What happens when patients do this is that their symptoms, health problems, and red-flags pile up until they have to take a trip to the Emergency Department because a much larger problem has occurred. Increased patient engagement saves patients money by empowering patients to address the much smaller issues along the way, preventing the larger and more expensive ones. Increased patient engagement decreases the number of visits to the Emergency Department for patients by connecting them to their providers through communication and regular visits to their physicians.
Increased Patient Engagement Lowers Provider Costs
Through increased patient engagement, the provider can lower costs and earn more multiple different ways. Here are a few examples:
1) Decreased No-Shows/Improved Loyalty
As patients learn to perform a more active role in their care through a developed provider-patient relationship, loyalty to a specific provider starts to grow. While providers utilize the patient portal and other patient engagement tools to engage their patient, they are lowering the number of no-shows that they have seen from their patients in the past. Increased patient engagement means that patients come in for their regular billed check-ups which means providers get paid more regularly.
2) Affordable Technology
A major cost that has prevented providers from accomplishing increased patient engagement is the costs of office technology like the patient portal, scheduling tools, or the mobile app. The good news is that these tools do not have to cost a thing because they should already be integrated with your office EHR. Having these tools in your tool belt to for your patients is essential to help your patients succeed in terms of patient engagement. See you patients communicate more, ask more questions, visits more, and educate themselves through the patient portal. See them schedule appointments, remember them, and make it on time with scheduling technology. Also, see them take their patient portal on the go with the mobile app. All of these patient engagement tools help patients stay active in their personal care and cut costs for providers.
Increased patient engagement has the ability to lower costs for both patient and providers. Providers should find the tools to set their patients up for success.
Interested in finding out more about tools that can increase patient engagement? Contact us! We can provide a demo of tools that will fit your practice’s needs.