Due to false assumptions, many healthcare organizations must be more confident implementing new digital patient engagement tools. These misconceptions include that Patients must understand why they’re being asked to act or make changes. Two-way communication and telehealth or RPM programs can help bridge this knowledge gap. They can also provide support and accountability to achieve treatment goals.
Increased Patient Satisfaction
Patient engagement tools allow practices to send patients reminders, surveys, and follow-up messages directly on their preferred channels. This automated outreach reduces staff workload and improves communication and patient satisfaction. Unlike traditional paper-based surveys, digital patient engagement tools can be conducted through text message, email, or on the practice website. It allows patients to respond immediately or conveniently, resulting in higher response rates.
In addition to reducing appointment cancellations, digital patient engagement tools can help practices minimize patient wait times and increase efficiency. However, due to false assumptions, many healthcare organizations need more time to implement these tools. Here are a few of the top misconceptions that should be dispelled before investing in a digital engagement tool:
Improved Patient Engagement
A patient-centered approach is critical to improved comprehension of health issues, therapies and treatments, and better outcomes. A good digital patient engagement tool will provide various tools to support this effort, including automated yet personalized appointment reminders, prescription refill requests, and more. These tools also allow patients to access their records, making it easier to understand their treatment plans and make informed healthcare decisions. Streamlining this process saves staff time and eliminates the need for patients to call or come into your practice to request information or to get copies of their medical records.
It is important to remember that although these tools are designed to automate and streamline processes, they must never replace the personal touch of a human being. Patients and staff appreciate being able to reach a real person who can help them resolve issues, answer questions and respond to concerns. They also want a system that integrates seamlessly with other systems to avoid unnecessary data duplication and manual work.
Increased Patient Compliance
Keeping up with patients on their preferred communication platform keeps them engaged and makes it easier to remind them of upcoming appointments or follow-ups. For hospitals that serve high-risk populations, digital patient engagement tools can help address social determinants of health like English language proficiency. Some patient engagement software can send reminders in the patient’s native language. Others can integrate with the EHR to make appointment cancellations easy and efficient for frontline staff to manage. Survey automation can also drive satisfied patients to online review sites so they can easily share their experience with the practice. These positive ratings can boost a provider’s search rankings, enhance their website, and build brand identity and reputation.
Streamlined Patient Billing
Patient engagement tools act as the digital front door for healthcare, bringing a level of customer service that portals cannot. They allow practices to automate outreach and engage patients intuitively, driving desired outcomes like patient satisfaction, compliance, and health outcomes while reducing costs and improving efficiency and revenue. Self-scheduling, appointment reminders and asynchronous telemedicine are examples of how these digital tools make it easy for patients to manage their appointments. The automated nature of these tools also eliminates the need for staff to manually contact patients over the phone, a costly and error-prone process.
When lab results are ready, digital patient engagement tools can send notifications to patients via short text messages or emails based on their preference, decreasing the time and cost of staff contacting them. It can also reduce patient wait times and free up office and laboratory space for patients with urgent needs. Satisfied patients are then easily driven to online review sites where their positive experience can boost search rankings and help new patients choose the practice.