Pateint engagement shown through a telehealth visit
Feb 05

What is Patient Engagement?

81% of patients state they would schedule appointments online if given the option.

If you have followed any of our other blogs, you know that we breakdown concepts in healthcare that can be hard to comprehend. From CMS regulations, to billing for telehealth visits, and exceeding patient expectations, we cover the topics that your practice needs to be informed of. Today’s blog is no different – let’s journey back to the basics and cover patient engagement.

What is patient engagement?

Simply put, patient engagement refers to patients at your practice engaging or participating in activities with your organization or within their own healthcare. Patient engagement typically is the catalyst that fosters trust in the relationship between provider and patient. This leads to better continuity of care and improved health outcomes.

When your practice tries to pinpoint the definition of patient engagement, what comes to mind? For many, patient engagement is thought of as strictly tools that are supplied to facilitate conversations, compliance, and education. However, it can also be strategies your practices enacts. Patient engagement strategies may include providing clear communication, enabling after hour phone service, or engaging in shared decision-making.

Patient Engagement Tools

When it comes to patient engagement, your office has it’s pick of the lot when it comes to tools. Some solve regulatory compliance issues, others integrate with your EHR solution, and others help empower your patients to become active participants in their healthcare journey. Some of these tools include…

  • Patient PortalPatients portals allow patients to interact with members of their care team outside of the office. (Bonus: they are a measure that your practice can attest for with MIPS.)
  • Appointment Reminder SystemsAppointment reminders enable patients to interact with your practice to confirm or cancel appointments. Patients typically prefer communication through one of the following: call, text, or email.
  • Wearable Devices – Patient Generated Health Data (PGHD) can be captured on a patient’s wearable device and utilized in your practice. This often provides a better representation of a patient’s day-to-day health. This type of data puts pressure on your practice to utilize and analyze the data obtained to create treatment plans.
  • TelehealthTelehealth promotes patient engagement through enabling patients better access to care from anywhere.
  • Social Media – If your practice is able to devote time to creating a social media presence, it is important to do so. Social media enables patients to access information regarding your practice, ask general questions, and receives updates regarding office closures.

Patient Engagement Strategies

  • Patient Maps – Engage with patients at your practice by creating a map of your office. A patient map will guide them to different points throughout your office. Different points to highlight include: biller’s office, the lab, bathrooms, emergency exits, and more. This enables them to feel more at ease while at your practice and requires little work on behalf of your staff once the maps are created.
  • Provide Patient Education – Many of us seek out answers to health questions through the internet which highlights a need for patient education. Providers should supply their patients with this in a readable and engaging manner at point of care.
  • Tailored Patient Communication – Tailored patient communication is possible through automation or through manual work. Your office may utilize phone calls, text, or follow-up surveys to touch base with patients to accomplish this strategic goal.

Results of Improved Patient Engagement

When your practice makes strides towards improving patient engagement, you also take steps towards improving overall patient health at your practice. Patients are more apt to participate and achieve in their treatment plans when they understand and communicate with you throughout the course of said treatment. Patient engagement tools, strategies, and technologies make all of the difference as your practice works towards achieving better care quality and health outcomes.

Are you looking for patient engagement tools to improve overall health and communication with your patients?? Visit us at micromd.com or call us at 800-624-8832.

About the author,
Savanna Adams

Savanna is the Marketing Communication Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. She schedules emails to clients, prospects, and VARs, manages social media accounts, performs research, writes blogs and eBooks, and much more while helping to support the simple yet powerful MicroMD solutions.

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