How to Keep Patients Engaged in Their Healthcare
Engaged patients are better informed and more prepared to make decisions about their healthcare options and needs. Today, healthcare organizations and private practices alike are seeking better tools to keep patients engaged and make sure that they are present to take an active role in their healthcare. Digital tools like healthcare apps and EHR platforms are making it easier to stay engaged, but they can also present a barrier to some of the older or less tech-savvy patients.
The good news is that there are several different tips to help you boost patient engagement and promote a positive relationship. When people feel more engaged and involved in their healthcare, they are more likely to make better decisions and listen to your advice, among other things. With all the recent changes in technology and telehealth, many private practices are struggling to keep up. And yet, they know that patient engagement is a metric that will dictate much of their practice’s success—what’s a provider to do?
The Challenges of Patient Engagement
Private practices have a lot of different challenges and obstacles that can arise that impact patient engagement at all levels. There are different factors at play here, from the patients themselves and their ability to comprehend what’s going on to the tools and resources used (or not) by private practices, and everything in between.
One of the biggest challenges of patient engagement is that most patients perceive themselves to be “lesser than” their providers or clinicians. Some patients will be more passive to avoid provocation or conflict, which negatively impacts their care. This is a challenge that can be overcome by educating patients and improving communication, as well as by ensuring that providers view their relationship as a partnership, not a subordinate situation.
The Telehealth Disconnect
It’s no secret that while telehealth has its benefits, it feels a bit disconnected to some. Although you can see people and interact in real time, it’s still not the same as sitting in a physical room with your patients and getting to discuss what’s going on. Providers are having less difficulty adapting than patients, for the most part, but often the disconnect for providers is part of what keeps them from effective patient engagement.
If you are providing telehealth services or any kind of virtual patient care, you need to make sure that you choose well-designed platforms to connect with your patients. This will ensure that everyone feels comfortable with the connection, even if it’s only virtual, and that patients can continue to be engaged in their own care to create the best outcomes.
Despite the fact that people do a lot of their daily living online these days, there is still quite a learning curve for telehealth. Namely, when dealing with new patients and first-time visitors, providers need to consider better ways to connect and build that rapport initially so that the patients feel welcomed and encouraged to engage in their care.
What Are You Doing to Engage Patients?
The obvious question begs to be answered: what are you currently doing to engage patients? Is it working? If you are unable to step back and assess your current efforts, you will be unable to build a better strategy moving forward. Consider the digital tools that you are using to connect with your patients outside of their visits—are these up to par? Are the EHR tools and scheduling apps that you use are simple, straightforward, and well-designed?
Engaging the patient during their visit is the easy part. Keeping them engaged outside of that, however, requires a bit more attention to the process. Thanks to the apps and tools available today, you can find a lot of resources to help you promote patient engagement and improve the connections that you have with your practice visitors. And of course, you’ll find a lot of helpful insight by asking those visitors for feedback, too.
Apps and Tools for Patient Engagement
One benefit of having a private practice today is that technology is on your side. The increasing role of EHRs, healthcare management apps, and other digital tools is giving all patients a chance to be more engaged and active in their healthcare. With modern healthcare apps, patients can access their health records, test results, appointments and scheduled procedures, billing and insurance information, and everything else related to their healthcare. And thanks to integrated solutions, many patients can use one or two apps to connect all of their providers and healthcare services, making it even easier to get and stay engaged in their care.
Practice managers and providers can gain a lot of insight into patient engagement by asking the most important person—the patient. It sounds obvious, but it’s something that is often overlooked. Whether providers don’t know how to broach the subject with their patients or they simply don’t think to investigate, this is a simple step that can make a huge impact on the engagement of your patients.
If patient engagement is lacking in your private practice, start asking questions. Find out what people are missing, or where your practice is coming up short. Ask how you can improve the engagement tools and resources available, or if there’s anything you can improve personally (or professionally) about the way you interact with your patients. All of this will help you build a more successful engagement strategy moving forward.
How Can ClinicMind Software Help?
ClinicMind is a comprehensive practice management platform that serves as your dedicated EHR/RCM system so that you can integrate all areas of your practice operations, from scheduling and billing to charting and patient recordkeeping, allowing you to deliver a higher caliber of patient care. With ClinicMind, private practices can also find credentialing services, as well as billing consultations and other services. By handling the business end of things, ClinicMind frees up your time to engage with patients and make sure that they’re on board for their healthcare.
Patient engagement is at the heart of every private practice. People like private practice because it is more connected, more engaged, and more personal than a large hospital or healthcare system. If your practice can’t deliver the level of engagement patients demand, they will seek out other alternatives. Contact ClinicMind to find out how their practice management solutions can help you take patient engagement to the next level.