For many, the New Year is an opportunity to reflect on past successes and set new goals for improvement.
Patients may decide to take their doctor’s advice to eat healthier, exercise more often or get more sleep, for example. These resolutions may seem straightforward, but on the provider side, what resolutions can healthcare practices make to run more efficiently and help patients achieve their goals in the new year?
As the healthcare industry moves to a new era of value-based care, it’s becoming more important to maintain regular engagement with patients. This makes 2019 the perfect year to re-evaluate patient engagement practices.
Why? A robust patient engagement strategy can help patients take an active role in their care and improve loyalty. To kickstart the planning process, here are three patient engagement resolutions to consider adopting for a more convincing strategy:
1. Offer patient tools that are easy to use
Patients are unsatisfied with existing portals to access their healthcare records or messages from doctors. In fact, according to the 2017 Health Information National Trends Survey, 63% of patients surveyed reported not using their patient portals. Why? Some respondents preferred more direct ways of communication, did not trust patient portal security or did not see the need for them. Instead of having to download tools to their phone or log onto a computer, providers should offer a solution that is mobile friendly and easy to access for improved engagement.
2. Offer new ways to communicate with patients in ways they prefer
Patient engagement is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Providers can’t set up a portal and check a patient engagement box. Patient portals should be but one part of an overarching engagement strategy.
Following the lead of other consumer-oriented industries, healthcare needs to make strides to meet patients where they are and how they like to be reached – on their phones. According to Pew Research, 97% of Americans use text messaging. Patients prefer a more direct way of communication and modern tools like secure texting are a great way to provide just that.
Secure text messaging can improve patient engagement while limiting administrative labor. It also prevents patients from having to login or download anything to their mobile devices, eliminating a major hurdle to effective patient engagement.
3. Evaluate success from a business perspective
Patient engagement that leads to better patient satisfaction should be a key goal for practices in 2019. So how can you gauge what works for your practice? Measure your practice’s success in patient engagement from a business perspective. Consider if your engagement activities are helping improve revenue, reimbursements and referrals, as well as better outcomes. Next, are they leading to more loyal patients?
Looking at patient engagement from a business perspective can help practices evaluate, with fresh eyes, which daily activities are the most valuable -- and guide additional adjustments for greater long-term success.
Make 2019 the year that your practice adopts a more robust approach to patient engagement for improved outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, patient loyalty, and practice viability for years to come.
Request a demo of our Patient Engagement solutions to help your team communicate more effectively in the new year.