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December 20, 2019
In 2020, maintaining high levels of patient engagement is contingent on the use of quality health practice technology. Millennials and the generations after them are eager to see digital interaction alongside accessibility and information as time presses on. Implementing the right tools will determine whether or not a practice can successfully keep their patients returning and remaining involved in their scheduled care.
How does Technology Impact Patient Engagement?
1) Closing the Gap
Technology has closed the gap that previously existed between patient and provider in terms of access. Through the implementation of electronic interaction and both communication and face-to-face engagement, patients are increasingly excited about tools like telehealth and e-visits. Health practice technology increased patient engagement by making the physician more accessible than they have been in the past. Now a patient can visit with their provider form the comfort of their own home. By accomplishing this, patients are more likely to stay engaged with their medical providers.
2) Improved Education
By giving patients a direct line to their personal health information, you force them to confront any dark areas in their overall health and quality of life. Practice technology encourages higher levels of patient engagement by giving patients an avenue to view their PHI, without having to jump through any hoops to find it. Test results, treatment plans, and prescriptions are laid out in a simple to view format that helps patients better understand what their dealing with. This betters patient engagement by giving them ownership of their personal health data and encouraging them to take action.
3) Simple Communication
A common reason patients avoid making it into their physician’s office is that they do not feel their health concern is emergent or in need of immediate attention. This can sometimes lead to dangerous health outcomes due to the dismissal of initial symptoms. Health practice technology comes into play by giving patients a way to easily communicate seemingly minute health concerns and stay more involved through the process.
The Patient Portal is Making the Difference:
1) Online Registration
Online registration is achievable with a fully-integrated Electronic Health Record. This impacts patient engagement by giving your patients the opportunity to prepare for their visit, ahead of time. It decreases wait times, which is a common frustration among most patients, and enables them to input and correct their health information so that it is up to date with the most accurate information. Digital intake not only betters patient engagement, but it also impacts staff efficiency by eliminating the transcription process and helping your staff focus on other patient-critical tasks.
2) 24/7 Scheduling
24/7 online scheduling is incredibly important for maintaining patient engagement as it reduces no-shows and enables the patient to schedule their care however it works best for them. They can log on and view a complete list of available appointments, which is updated automatically and choose the day and time they are most likely to make it. In the same vein, they can cancel their appointment if something comes up and they are not able to make it. This protects the patient’s time as well as the provider while also impacting patient engagement.
3) Automated Reminders
Automated appointment reminders are found in patient portals that are fully integrated with your practice EHR and Practice Management Software. With this digital capability, patients are able to receive automated reminders about their appointments, annual testing, or labs so that they do not skip a beat. Automated appointment reminders enable better patient engagement by making sure your patients remember the different components of their care. Depending on the needs of the patient, this could be in the form of a text, email, or phone call.
4) Message Center
The online messaging capability helps increase patient engagement by enabling simpler communication with their physicians, addressing those small questions that could prevent big problems. Here, providers can inform their patients about what to do next without wasting their time at a visit. This patient engagement feature leads your patients to the next steps for staying actively involved in their care.
To learn more about patient engagement technology tools that can send your practice into the future, click here.