Drive Results with 3 Proven Patient Engagement Strategies

November 2, 2020 - by WELL Staff

Optimized patient engagement strategies are a necessity for healthcare providers looking to properly address patient needs. Adopting digital communication management systems can help providers enact these strategies and improve revenue flow.

Primary care providers have a key role to play in driving patient-centered healthcare. Providers offer a vital entry point into the healthcare system. The onus is on them to provide progressive care management and humane forms of care for healthcare consumers.

The modern consumers of healthcare have a vital role to play here, as essential co-producers of their health. Patient needs and demands have shifted dramatically. Engagement strategies need to shift with them. When patients are engaged, their health improves. In turn, providers benefit.

Median operating margins for healthcare providers have hovered between two and three percent in the last decade. Unlocking improvements requires pioneering new strategies for patient engagement that involve consumers across the care continuum.

Why patient engagement strategies matter in the era of healthcare consumerism

Healthcare institutions exist to address the physical, mental, and social needs of the patients and their families. But only with the help of effective strategies for patient engagement are these needs met satisfactorily.

Research shows tangible benefits to implementing an efficacious patient experience and engagement strategy.

  • Good patient engagement increases adherence to treatment regimen recommendations among patients, which in turn leads to fewer complications and re-hospitalizations.
  • Good patient engagement enhances satisfaction. This facilitates a longer-standing relationship with providers, while improving experience measures that directly impact reimbursement rates.

From a business point of view, patient engagement contributes to outcomes that directly affect hospital costs and reimbursement. Executing on effective patient engagement strategies also rewards providers with better patient retention and referrals.

Creating a culture based on engagement

It’s vital for healthcare providers to create a culture of engagement in their institutions. This should start with making employees aware of the importance of maximizing patient engagement. Employees who are engaged in this way have a superior commitment to patients. They also put in more discretionary efforts in their professional work.

Once an engagement-friendly environment exists within the workforce, the next step is extending this spirit to involve your patients and their families. Educate staff members on the details and benefits of a patient experience and engagement strategy. Assigning internal accountability also helps keep every member on task.

Identifying the right patient experience and engagement strategy tools

Creating a culture of engagement in your institution requires commitment from all participants to transform the way you interact with patients. Fortunately, customer management tools enable these interactions. They bridge the gap between clinical recommendations and patient actions, helping patients make the choices they need to make.

For instance, Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center (TVHC) wanted a better way to communicate with their patients, 70 percent of whom are Hispanic. The practice’s outmoded robo-call reminder system informed patients of upcoming appointments, but did not alert their systems to confirmations or cancellations. After adopting a digital communications platform that facilitated new patient engagement strategies such as two-way texting, TVHC increased slot utilization by seven percent, increasing revenue by roughly $1 million.

Automating message delivery systems also maximizes the value of existing telehealth investments. Houston Methodist demonstrated this when they coordinated a massive surge in virtual care visits during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of an innovative communication platform, the practice created a virtual waiting room for touchless patient intake, calibrating engagement strategies to the pressures of the time.

Using these innovative tools to connect better with your healthcare consumers increases your health system’s availability, accessibility, and convenience. With these foundations in place, patient engagement reliably improves.

Making information sharable

Another key shift in the world of healthcare is the notion of developing a longitudinal plan for care. Rather than working independently, care providers and communication management agencies now work hand in hand to ensure patients receive consistent recommendations and support throughout their care journey.

Proven communication management systems such as WELL create ideal platforms through which physicians and their patients can share plans, goals, and support information.

Case in point: Cedars-Sinai wanted their patients’ health information to become more accessible. So they shifted patient engagement strategies and used WELL to send a patient portal link out twice: once after scheduling an appointment, then a follow-up two days before the visit. Within just five months of sending the portal link through WELL, overall portal enrollment shot up by 19 percent.

Opening accessibility within a unified location enables healthcare providers to observe plans, track patient progress, and provide consistent patient messaging. Choose a communication hub that syncs real-time with your EHR to keep yourself updated with appointment status and patient details. It should also deliver multilingual, conversational messaging to each of your patient’s preferred channels for an unmatched experience.

High time to adopt systems around your patients’ needs

Healthcare consumerization has given rise to a new generation of patients who now act like consumers, asserting their needs and choosing providers that can meet them. Enable concrete patient engagement strategies by adopting the right healthcare tools.

Contact WELL Health today to see how a full-solution communication hub can help you offer and provide truly modern medical appointments. ♥

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