Alert Solutions Blog

3 Ways Technology is Vital to Patient Engagement

Posted by Sarah Autore on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 @ 11:01 AM

The endeavor to achieve good patient engagement is critical to every medical practice. While patient engagement gained traction as an emerging movement many years ago, there are still many challenges medical practices face in trying to achieve it.

What has helped tremendously for many is the use and evolution of technology – tools like automated patient communication solutions, online patient portals, and even social media have all created a culture of more engaged doctor/patient relationships than ever before.

To really understand the tremendous effect, take a look at these 3 significant ways technology has become vital to improving patient engagement:

Technology Reduces Time and Costs
Because of technology, paperwork is reduced, patient information is more accurate, and scheduling is more efficient. Through electronic medical records, online payment options, and automated patient notifications, staff is now freed up to focus more on what really matters – patient engagement and fostering a positive patient experience.

Technology Creates More Informed Patients 
patientpreferences.pngPatients who are engaged in their health are more likely to have better health outcomes. Technology has created more opportunities and resources for patients to utilize in order to become more informed. In fact, 1 in every 20 Google searches is for health-related information. While medical practices should strive to be the number one patient resource for accurate health information, they should still encourage behavior that demonstrates levels of patient engagement through use of online tools.

Technology Increases Patient Satisfaction
The combination of patients being more informed and having more resources at their disposal results in higher levels of patient satisfaction. Technology has helped to instill a larger sense of confidence in patients when it comes to their health. Factors like being able to research health information before and after their visits, easily communicating with their doctors via patient portals, and receiving automated patient notifications through their preferred communication methods are all technological advances that contribute to better patient communication and higher levels of patient satisfaction.

We can help! Alert Solutions helps medical practices automate important patient communications through multiple channels including email, voice, and text. Click here to learn more.

patient communication

 

Topics: automated patient notifications, Medical, patient communication, patient satisfaction, patient retention, patient engagement

3 Tips to Increase Patient Engagement During the Holiday Season

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Dec 07, 2017 @ 11:12 AM

The holiday season is often the busiest time of year for most families. With so much focus on holiday planning and events, the last thing on your patients’ minds is communicating with their doctor’s office.

During such a hectic period, it’s even more likely that your medical practice will experience higher patient no-show rates and revenue loss. But, there are steps your medical practice can take to increase patient engagement during the holiday season.

We’ve compiled 3 patient engagement tips to break through the holiday clutter:

1. Focus on Patient Communication with Automated Appointment Reminders
Did you know that sending automated appointment reminders to your patients can reduce missed appointments by up to 40%? Not only that, but sending automated appointment reminders through patient-preferred  communication methods (text, voice or email) makes them 5 times more likely to show up for their scheduled appointment. With their minds elsewhere during the holidays, automated appointment reminders not only get patients in the door, but can also improve patient satisfaction by going the extra mile to ensure your patients get the care they need. 

2. Use Flexible Scheduling to Increase Patient Satisfaction HolidaySteth-756901-edited.jpg
To increase patient engagement, demonstrate to your patients that you understand how challenging this time of year can be. The request for reschedules is likely higher during this season, so plan ahead at your medical practice to be as accommodating as possible. Consider keeping gaps within your daily schedule to fit last minute changes, or implement a
patient ‘stand-by’ list for those looking to reschedule as soon as possible. Especially around the holidays, a little accomodation goes a long way to increase patient engagement, improve patient satisfaction, and optimize patient retention

3. Leverage Social Media to Improve Patient Engagement
If your medical practice already has a social media presence, the holiday season is a great time to increase social media use to build up patient engagement. If your medical practice has not yet implemented social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, it’s a great time to start! The holidays provide plenty of social media content opportunities – consider sharing office holiday photos, tips for staying healthy during the holiday season, or even running a holiday patient raffle. Regular use of social media will keep you top of mind with patients year-round!

patient communication

Topics: appointment reminders, automated patient notifications, Medical, patient communication, patient satisfaction, patient retention, patient engagement

Implementing Patient Engagement Tools at Your Medical Practice – 3 Things to Consider

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Nov 02, 2017 @ 11:11 AM

Patients are beginning to rely on more modern patient communication tools to become better engaged in their healthcare. Medical practices face the challenge of implementing patient communication tools that will increase patient engagement, streamline operations, and be cost effective all at the same time.

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Deciding to implement patient engagement technology is an easy choice – studies show these tools increase patient satisfaction, patient retention, and practice revenue. The more challenging decision then is to determine which patient engagement solution is right for your medical practice.

If you are looking to implement a patient engagement tool at your medical practice, consider the following tips:

1. Patient Communication Styles are Important
Patient communication is much more effective when it allows you to reach patients through their preferred communication channel. Accommodating your patients’ communication preferences will ultimately increase their level of patient satisfaction with your medical practice. You’ll want to consider patient engagement tools with access to voice, email, and SMS text message capabilities.

2. Automation Helps Your Patient and Your Medical Practice
When a patient receives an automated appointment reminder, they are 40% more likely to show up for their appointment. This ensures your patient is receiving the care they need, while simultaneously increasing revenue for your medical practice. Not only that, but implementing automated appointment reminders also saves hours of precious staff time – freeing them up to truly focus on better patient care. When deciding on a patient engagement tool, make sure automation is at the top of your list.

3. Personalized Patient Communication Goes a Long Way
Thanks to rapid technological advances over the last few years, people have become accustomed to personalized communications from everyone – including their medical provider. A patient engagement tool that gives you the ability to merge specific patient details into your patient communications can be extremely effective in increasing patient satisfaction and overall trust. Though these details may seem small, they have the ability to forge a more impactful and personal connection with your patients.

We can help! Alert Solutions helps medical practices automate important patient communications through multiple channels including email, voice, and text. Download Our Brochure to Learn More.

patient communication

Topics: appointment reminders, automated patient notifications, Medical, patient communication, patient satisfaction, patient retention, patient engagement

Improving Patient Retention at Your Medical Practice - 3 Ways the Front Office Staff Can Help

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 @ 15:10 PM

You’ve heard it a million times – patient satisfaction is the key to a successful medical practice. Your levels of patient satisfaction are a key indicator of patient retention – without which, your medical practice will suffer.

It’s vital for medical practices today to place importance on maintaining patient retention, as obtaining new patients costs five times as much. In an environment where an increasing number of medical practices are looking to do more and spend less, it’s also important to consider patient retention methods that are cost effective.

You might not need to look much further than your front office staff to achieve this. That’s because studies show high quality patient care is not the only driver of patient retention. In fact, front office staff has been shown to play a crucial role in turning new patients into return patients.

3 important patient retention factors your front office staff is responsible for:

1. First (and Last) Impressions
Your patients expect a positive experience from the moment they step foot in your medical practice. However, the most important impression is probably the last one. Patients often come out of the exam room with questions, concerns, and the need for follow up. Encourage your front office staff to address them happily and efficiently in order to leave your patient with a good lasting impression.

2. Effective Patient Communication
Many medical practices struggle with finding time to implement effective patient
 medical reception.jpgcommunication strategies, but good patient communication is proven to increase patient satisfaction. While digital patient communication tools are vastly on the rise, one of the most effective patient communication methods is still face-to-face interaction. Your front office staff is crucial to forging an impactful personal connection with your patients.

3. Adequate Patient Follow-Up
Patient experience does not end when the patient leaves your medical practice. Automated patient communication solutions enable your front office staff to follow-up with patients in a timely manner and ensure their needs are met until their next appointment. Bonus: Automating follow-up processes like appointment reminders and lab result notifications have also been proven to free up front office staff time – giving them more opportunity to focus directly on the patient.  

We can help! Alert Solutions helps medical practices send important patient communications through email, voice, and text. To learn more about improving patient retention through effective patient communication, download our brochure today!

patient communication

Topics: appointment reminders, automated patient notifications, Medical, patient communication, patient satisfaction, patient retention, patient engagement

Improve Patient Engagement at Your Medical Practice with the Help of Social Media

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 @ 14:09 PM

Patients who are more engaged in their health tend to have higher patient satisfaction rates and experience better health outcomes. But finding the time and resources to implement patient engagement strategies can be a challenge for busy medical practices.

Many healthcare providers are now turning to social media as an effective and budget-friendly way to increase patient engagement. Consider these 3 ways social media can improve patient engagement at your medical practice.

1. Improve Patient Engagement by Sharing Resources
socialmedia.jpgGood patient engagement continues outside of the exam room. Reaching patients in their everyday lives, instead of just during office visits, increases their levels of patient engagement and patient satisfaction. Over 70% of patients turn to the internet for health information, but don’t always find reliable sources. Social media platforms allow you to become a reliable source, all while building credibility for your practice and educating patients about their health.

2. Improve Patient Engagement by Building Patient Trust
Most patients visit their healthcare provider only several times per year. Consistent social media updates can keep your medical practice top of mind and achieve a new level of trust and patient satisfaction year round. In addition to sharing health-related information, also consider sharing practice updates. Providing a regular look inside your medical practice will create more engaged patients focused on getting more out of their healthcare.

3. Improve Patient Engagement by Increasing Patient Communication
Social media can also serve as an effective patient retention tool. While patient communication solutions are the most effective way to keep patients coming back, your medical practice will also benefit from the ability to quickly share a social post reminding patients about seasonal services. For example, consider sharing a reminder that flu season has begun and you are available for vaccinations.

Did you know? Alert Solutions provides many patient communication tools for medical practices through multiple automated channels including email, voice, and text. Learn more.

patient communication

Topics: appointment reminders, automated patient notifications, Medical, patient communication, patient satisfaction, social media marketing, patient retention, patient engagement

Think Your Medical Practice Doesn't Need to Go Digital? Think Again.

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 @ 12:08 PM

As patients rely more and more on technology throughout their daily lives, medical practices face the challenge of implementing digital patient communication tools and patient engagement techniques to keep up.

It’s become a common misconception that older generations of patients don’t favor digital communication. However, a recent survey showed that 53% of older patients did utilize the digital patient communication tools provided by their doctor.  This same study showed that over 70% of patients are comfortable with communicating online, through SMS text message, and through mobile apps.

With the use of digital patient communication tools increasing among all age groups, consider the following 3 benefits of going digital at your medical practice.

1. Increase Patient Engagementdigitalhealth.jpg
Through greater access to online patient portals and personal healthcare records, 70 percent of patients say they have become more engaged with their healthcare over the last two years. Increased patient engagement has many benefits including increased patient satisfaction, better patient outcomes, and increased patient retention.

2. Align with Patient Communication Preferences
The importance of patient communication preferences should never be overlooked. It not only impacts your ability to communicate with patients, but also the effectiveness of your communication with them. You’re much more likely to accommodate all patient communication preferences with a multi-channel patient communication solution.

3. Save Time with Automation
Automation will make life easier for both your staff and your patients. For example, implementing automated patient notifications has shown to decrease patient no-shows by 40%. In addition, automating follow-up processes can  increase revenue and free up precious staff time – making it an extremely effective tool for your medical practice.

We can help! Alert Solutions helps medical practices automate important patient communications through multiple channels including email, voice, and text. Click here to learn more.

 

Topics: appointment reminders, automated patient notifications, Medical, patient communication, patient satisfaction, patient retention, patient engagement

5 Ways to Improve Patient Retention Rates at Your Medical Practice

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, May 18, 2017 @ 13:05 PM

Good patient retention can make or break the success of a medical practice. That’s because obtaining new patients costs five times as much. Despite that statistic, the majority of medical practices do not have a patient retention strategy in place.

If you’re looking to improve patient retention rates at your medical practice, consider these 5 tips:

patientwaitingroom-resized-600.jpg1. Schedule smarter.
Effective scheduling keeps your practice afloat. A major cause of patient dissatisfaction is long wait times. Over scheduling leads to appointments taking longer than expected and can even cause time-crunched patients to cancel all together. Increase your patient retention rate by being respectful of your patients’ time with a well-balanced daily schedule. 

2. Confirm appointments in advance.
The bottom line is that patients need appointment reminders. Calling a patient to remind them of an upcoming appointment shows that your practice respects their time and increases their level of patient satisfaction.  Additionally, studies prove that medical practices who use automated appointment reminders will see a reduction in patient no-show rates.

3. Implement Patient Surveys.
Identifying any outstanding issues is the first step in fixing them. The most effective way to determine if you have a low patient satisfaction rate is to survey your patient base. Patient surveys also demonstrate that your practice values the opinion of the patients you serve, which can assist in increasing patient retention.

4. Reconnect with missed appointments.
Take the extra step of reaching out to missed appointments instead of waiting for them to reschedule. Not only does this ensure that you’re getting back that missed revenue, but the patient will most likely appreciate the courtesy.

5. Implement an effective recall routine.

Following each visit, take the opportunity to schedule your patient’s next appointment. Aside from being good business practice and increasing patient retention rates, doing this shows the patient you are invested in their health and following up appropriately to their individual needs.

We can help! Alert Solutions helps medical practices send important patient communications like automated appointment reminders through email, voice, and text. To learn more about improving patient retention through effective patient communication, download our brochure today!

Download Our Brochure!

 

Topics: Medical, patient satisfaction, patient retention, patient engagement

Maximize Patient Retention at Your Medical Practice – Three Stages

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Nov 03, 2016 @ 10:11 AM

Just as in any organization, retention is so important for medical practices.  This includes retention of physicians and staff, but also patient retention as well.

Why is patient retention so important?  A HealthcareITNews article explains why:

…it costs 90 percent less to get current patients to return for future care than it does to attract new patients.

The same is true for other types of organizations – it costs more to attract new business than it does to retain existing business!

We have some patient retention strategies to keep in mind for each stage of patient care:

Before Patient Care
Deploy automated appointment reminders to keep patients engaged up until their appointment date.  These patient reminders should include any pre-appointment instructions like fasting or lab tests.  It will cut down on no-shows significantly and be appreciated by patients.

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During Patient Care
Respect patients’ time through proper schedule management.  Long wait times cause patients to become frustrated.  Anther strategy is patient engagement: keeping them more involved with own healthcare decisions.

After Patient Care
Maintain patient communication after their appointments and follow up with things like lab result notifications, prescription refill reminders and patient satisfaction surveys.  These efforts help your practice build relationships with patients for long-term care.

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Notice a commonality?  It’s patient communication!  Whether before, during, or after patient care, patient communication plays a strong role in keeping patients happy, retained, and even referring others to your medical practice.

Alert Solutions’ Patient Communication Suite can help your medical practice improve retention through communication.  Click here to download our brochure.

Alert Solutions' Suite of Patient Notification Systems

Topics: health, Medical, patient communication, patient satisfaction, patient retention

Top Ways to Improve Patient Retention at Your Medical Practice

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 @ 11:02 AM

What would your medical practice be without your patients? They are who you work for! Your patients make your medical practice profitable and sustainable.

That’s why it’s so important to keep them.

Medical practices struggling with patient retention find out the hard way that the cost of attracting new patients is far more than keeping the ones they have now.

Check out the following helpful tips to improve patient rentention:patientengagement1.png

- Identify Unsatisfied Patients

Start proactively by giving any unsatisfied patients a little extra attention. This way, you have a better chance of retaining them before they change providers. Not sure how to find out? Try patient surveys.

- Respect Patients’ Time

Keep accurate and reasonable patient schedules. Just as you would appreciate knowing if a patient can’t make a scheduled appointment, respect their time, too, with limited wait times.

- Maintain Regular and Consistent Patient Communication

Staying in touch with patients between office visits goes a long way in terms of patient relationships and retention. If your patients’ confidence in your care is high, they are likely to return. Regular and consistent communication is a major confidence builder.

Alert Solutions helps medical practices send appointment reminders, recall notices, and prescription refill messages to their patients.

Want to learn more about how we can help you stay in touch with your patients? Check out our suite of healthcare solutions.

Topics: Medical, patient communication, patient satisfaction, patient retention

3 Tips to Improve Patient Relationships This Holiday Season

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 @ 11:12 AM

Though it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, the holiday season is actually a great time for healthcare providers to show their patients how much they appreciate them.

A helpful article from HealthWorksCollective provides tips to do just that.  Check out some of their ideas:

Tip #1: Be Flexible
Patient no-shows are always a problem, especially around the holidays.  With everyone’s busy schedules, you may notice an increase in missed or rescheduled appointments.  If appointment reminders are unsuccessful, show appreciation for your patients by waiving missed appointment fees (if they are imposed).  Just don’t forget to recall these patients after the holidays are over!

Tip #2: Utilize Technologypatientwaitingroom1-1.jpg
Technology has brought numerous benefits to healthcare providers: lower operational expenses, increased compliance with legislation and a broader line of patient communication.  This season, utilize technology to send holiday greetings using patient-preferred communication methods, such as email, voice, and SMS text messaging.

Tip #3: Don’t Skimp on Patient Communication
We already know that the level of communication received by a patient directly influences the perception of the care that they received from their healthcare provider.  As such, it’s particularly important now (and all year round) to have effective patient communication so that they understand their health regimen.

It’s been said that the cost of retaining current patients is 90% less than attracting new ones.  Keep patient relationships in mind this holiday season and improve patient retention well into the New Year!

Alert Solutions’ Guide to Automated Patient Communication is another great resource to help you improve relationships with your patients.  Download it here.

Download the Patient Communication Best Practice Guide!

Topics: holiday, Medical, patient communication, patient satisfaction, patient retention

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