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Can smartphones be used to increase patient engagement? Nearly every adult American citizen owns a smartphone in 2021. Providers need to find new and effective ways to use them for patient care. Patients are already using their smartphones to complete a variety of processes in their life. Why shouldn’t that include healthcare? The concern up to this point is that smartphones can not be a secure and trusted method of interaction between patients and their providers. In 2021, this is no longer true. Providers can utilize smartphone tech to increase patient engagement and help their patients achieve the best results possible.
How can Smartphones Increase Patient Engagement?
Mobile Optimized Patient Portals
Mobile-optimized patient portals or even patient portal smartphone apps are making it easier for patients to engage their providers online. The patient portal is one of the most effective tools for increasing patient engagement. It gives patients a safe way to communicate with their providers outside of the office, a way to pay their bills, to view their chart, and much more. With mobile-optimization, patients can now do this from anywhere.
This is important when providers take a moment and think about what the future of patent engagement might look like. For patients, mobile access is available with nearly everything in their life. They can pay their bills online, they can communicate with their loved ones, and they can engage on social media. When providers take the number one tool for patient engagement and make it accessible from a smartphone, they start to meet the needs of the patient in a new way.
Telehealth has existed for many years now, but in 2021, vendors and providers are figuring out how to optimize its use for patient engagement. Patients everywhere are getting on board with this idea. The biggest catalyst in getting patients to engage with a telehealth tool was the pandemic. Patients everywhere fled to virtual solutions to avoid coming into contact with COVID-19. Telehealth offers a safe visit alternative where patients can continue to meet with their providers.
Providers are now asking how the use of telehealth will change as the pandemic hopefully comes to a close in 2021. The truth is that many patients were introduced to telehealth for the first time during the pandemic. What ended up happening after that first introduction is that patients realized the convenient potential of virtual technology. Patient engagement is made simple with tools like telehealth, encouraging them to keep using it moving forward.
Patient Outreach Communications
Patient outreach is also changing with the introduction of automated digital solutions. Tools like chatbots and automated appointment reminders are digitizing patient engagement efforts without compromising effectiveness. In the past, providers and their staff would spend hours on the phone calling patients to remind them of their appointments or update them on any changes or policies regarding the practice. This was a huge waste of time, and not always effective. Sometimes patients wouldn’t answer the phone or just ignored their physician’s calls.
Now, patient outreach communications have been automated. This increases patient engagement by raising the likelihood that your patients will receive their reminders and practice updates. Patients can receive updates directly to their smartphone so that they never miss a detail.
To learn more about how your practice can increase patient engagement using a smartphone and mobile technology, click here.