The year 2020 will witness a staggering shift towards innovative technologies for effective patient engagement in the healthcare industry. In the past, the holistic approach was towards technology, which was provider-centric rather than patient-centric. The focus was on developing and deploying technologies to improve the quality of the healthcare management, medicines, devices, and procedures.
Today, the increase in medical costs and healthcare insurance premiums is making it difficult to improve the overall health and wellbeing of society. So the healthcare industry is looking to deliver more affordable and personalized care. Experts are seeking technology to develop new strategies for better access, engagement, healthcare education, and experience for patients.
But what do we mean by Patient Engagement?
Patient engagement is a term that refers to a patient’s involvement in their health care to improve the health outcome. It includes a patient’s willingness, knowledge, ability, and skills to manage their health, with effective communication designed to promote positive wellbeing behaviour. And for that, experts have to reinforce the patient’s educational skills and design an outreach strategy with functional tools and techniques to foster meaningful patient engagement.
What are the best practices to effectively engage patients in 2020?
The best practices comprise investing in tools and technologies to yield trust and provide convenience, to gain insights and to educate them, and finally to ensure connectivity. These practices create an ideal environment for effective patient engagement.
- Offer Convenience in Accessibility
The most frustrating thing about seeking medical care is the inconvenience of contacting a doctor or finding a hospital nearby. But having the right technology to facilitate access to a professional medical team, and giving them the time to listen to their concerns and consulting them accordingly, is essential to patient engagement. When you are making the process of communication simpler and easier, patients are more likely to trust you and are more likely to participate in patient engagement.
- Educate them and Gain Insights
A patient cannot engage in self-care activities or prevention if they are not familiar with their conditions, treatments, and other health issues. So after their consultation, an educational letter can be sent to patients about their conditions and treatments. These letters can help with initiating conversations with providers, but keep in mind that as a provider, you must use a clear and simple language when educating these patients. A patient with higher health literacy can absorb more complex information, but a patient with lower health literacy will require more guidance and follow-ups.
In the coming period, partnerships between tech companies and the healthcare sector will mature. Because with the increase in the volume of data generated every day from the engagement process, the healthcare sector will be seeking out solutions to increase privacy and reduce data security risks. This data might contain personal information, or even other critical information so it must be secured. The data acquired can also be used to gain insights on how to provide better healthcare services to patients.
- Communicate and then, Over-communicate
Engaging with patients mean
cs communicating with them. So you must communicate with them to:
- Help them or remind them to make it to an appointment
- Provide them with information about the required medical tests for the appointment or of the previous appointment result
- Maintain a post-visit follow-up, to remind patients to receive preventive care, take a certain medication, or reach out to certain medicine store nearby.
Sometimes contacting patients before their appointments, means they will experience a more efficient visit, where the patient will have the opportunity to prepare questions about his concerns. Deploying technologies like NeoDove, which is an end-to-end tech-enabled platform for communication and leads management, helps with effectively reaching out to and following-up with patients. NeoDove offers solutions for outbound calling, inbound marketing, data management, and reengagement. The platform provides real-time insights and offers complete transparency and control over the communication process.
Tap into surveys and questionnaires.
Conducting formal surveys can help you better understand your patients, what concerns they have, are they fully aware of their condition, how comfortable they are in making health-related decisions, or are they having any trouble with accessibility. These surveys improve many aspects of the providers’ performance.
The process of conducting surveys helps you collect accurate data and gives you actionable results, so it must be carried out precisely. With NeoDove, the customizing and editing questionnaire for script-building features, allows your professional team of telecallers to better prepare themselves before making any call. Here are a couple of things to consider when carrying out a survey:
- Follow up quickly, typically within 48 hours after the medical treatment.
- Keep the survey brief, make your questions concise and easy to understand, so avoid using complex terms.
- Avoid using binary questions.
- Try adding one or two open-ended questions.
There is a correlation that improves patients doctor coordination!
Having a team of medical telecallers with an open communication channel between the medical office and the patient ensures that the patient remains engaged in their self-care and ensures that the medical staff is not experiencing burnout. A digital outreach tool like NeoDove addresses calling needs also allow the providers and the patients to send messages and receive feedback, answer questions, check-in on new updates and interventions, and alleviate other arising health concerns.
There is no need to overwhelm the doctors and nurses with patient outreach. And a balance between automation and interpersonal skills for patient outreach guarantees that providers can reach more patients quickly and effectively.
Patient engagement helps them with better adaptation to healthier behavior, ideally improving the healthcare outcomes and reducing healthcare expenses. Shifting the national healthcare ecosystem into a platform might be a difficult process, but it is the best way to achieve an effective patient engagement strategy, for both the patients and healthcare experts.