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

Achieving Patient Engagement with the Young Adult Demographic

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Aug 10, 2017 @ 11:08 AM

By now, medical practices are well aware that increased patient engagement leads to better patient satisfaction and patient outcomes. To best engage all patients, not to mention attract new ones, medical practices must not assume all patients are alike. One patient demographic often less considered is that of young adults, those aged 18 - 34.

Research has shown that common doctor-patient engagement models don’t resonate the same with this younger audience. If your medical practice is looking to improve patient engagement with your young adult demographic, consider these 4 strategies to reach them more effectively.

1. Connect on Social Mediayoungadults.jpg
It’s no surprise that this younger population uses
social media more than any other. According to a recent survey, over 90% of millennials trust health information on social media. With the average person spending over 2 hours a day (and growing) on social platforms, it’s a good place to share quick and relevant information and build a sense of trust with younger patients.

2. Offer Online Appointment Scheduling
Young adults tend to be more comfortable using technology than older age groups. In fact, they prefer it. Several studies have also determined that the use of digital tools makes younger patients much more engaged in their overall health.

3. Send Appointment Reminders via SMS Text Messaging
Automated SMS text message appointment reminders are great for increasing patient engagement with all demographics, especially young adults. The average young adult sends close to 100 text messages a day, which means this is an area your medical practice can’t afford to miss out on.

4. Don’t Forget to Personalize
As a primarily digital population, young adults are accustomed to information that has been personalized through a lifetime of technological advances. Having a patient notification system that allows you to personalize patient communications by merging in specific patient information will go a long way with this age group.

While it may sound cliche, your young adult patients are quite literally your future. Making an effort to achieve good patient engagement with them now will ensure continued patient satisfaction as they age.

To learn how Alert Solutions’ Patient Communication Suite can help you engage with your young adult patients, download our brochure here.

Alert Solutions' Suite of Patient Notification Systems

 

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

What Kind of Patient Communication Style is Best for Your Practice?

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 @ 11:07 AM

According to a recent patient survey, over 50% of patients report they received no follow-up communication from their physician after their appointment. In addition, nearly 40% of patients were unaware whether their doctor’s office had a patient portal available for use.

These statistics emphasize how important patient communication is – and what can happen when it’s unclear. Many medical practices struggle with finding time to implement effective patient communication strategies, but good patient communication is proven to improve patient outcomes and increase patient satisfaction.

medical communication styles.jpg

If you’re looking to improve your patient communication strategy, a good place to begin is determining which patient communication style fits your practice best:

  1. In-Person Patient Communication
    You can’t get more personalized than an in-person dialogue. This patient communication style is dwindling with technological advances, and less than a quarter of patients report preferring this method. However, while technology serves many purposes of advancing patient care, it should never fully replace a healthy in-person dialogue between patient and provider about important health issues.

  2. Phone Patient Communication
    While digitally automated patient communication has increased significantly, 50% of patients still prefer speaking to their doctors office on the phone over any other method. Phone calls also make up the second most common follow-up method for doctor’s offices. Although it is no longer the most time friendly solution, it’s unlikely that this style of communication will ever disappear completely – especially for situations like discussing lab results or procedure details with patients.

  3. Digital Patient Communication
    You know by now that as technology continues to evolve, more and more patients are preferring digital communication methods to more traditional ones. Generally, the younger demographic of patients (aged 18-34) prefer scheduling follow-up appointments online.. Automating follow-up processes have also proven to have many benefits to your office as well – such as freeing up precious staff time and reducing patient no-shows.

To meet patient needs, the best medical practices are the ones who are flexible and equipped in adapting to all 3 of these patient communication styles. Alert Solutions can help your practice automate patient communications through voice, email, and text.  Learn more about our Suite of Patient Communication Solutions here.

 

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

How to Build an Effective Patient Appointment Reminder Script - 3 Must-Have’s

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 @ 14:06 PM

Studies have proven that medical practices who use automated appointment reminders will see a decrease in patient no-show rates. To get the most out of your patient notification system, you may want to evaluate the effectiveness of your appointment reminder script. Consider these 3 must-have’s to include in your automated appointment reminder script.

1. No detail is too small.
receptionist-1.jpgMany doctors appointments are originally made well in advance, so it’s vital you set up the patient’s appointment reminder clearly. It may sound trite, but don’t underestimate the importance of merging in details such as the name and address of your doctor’s office, which member of the household the appointment is for, and for how long they can expect the appointment to last.

2. Give the option to reschedule the appointment.
It may seem counterproductive, but giving patients the chance to reschedule is actually a more proactive and efficient approach than having to deal with a last minute cancellation. Nearly one-third of all scheduled appointments are cancelled. Providing a reschedule option within your patient appointment reminder script will likely cut down on cancellations by getting patients to commit to a time that works best for them.

3. Create a sense of urgency and call-to-action.
Remind patients that your time is valuable by including your appointment cancellation policy in your appointment reminder script. Informing patients of a fee for missed appointments both creates a sense of urgency and decreases the likelihood of cancellations. Also be sure to provide the appropriate contact information of your office in case they have additional concerns.

With the right script, automated appointment reminders can increase revenue, increase patient satisfaction, and be an extremely effective tool for your medical practice.

Alert Solutions can help your practice automate patient appointment reminders through voice, email, and text.  

Interested? Learn more here.

 

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

Want to Reduce Patient No-Show Rates At Your Medical Practice? Try These 4 Steps

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Jun 08, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

Patient cancellations are one of the biggest revenue obstacles in most medical practices today. On average, up to 10% of patients do not show up to their scheduled appointments - adding up to large amounts of wasted time and lost revenue. Aside from profit-loss, patient no-shows can also upset office productivity and be detrimental to daily workflow.

Most healthcare providers can agree that patient no-shows are bad for their business and their patient’s health. Consider these 4 steps to reduce the patient no-show rate at your medical practice.  

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1. Consider consequences for missed patient appointments
Develop a plan for how your medical practice will respond to missed patient appointments. When booking patient appointments, consider explaining what the fee will be for a last minute cancellation or missed appointment. If patients are made aware of the fee ahead of time, they may be less likely to miss their scheduled appointment when the time comes.

2. Manage your daily patient schedule more effectively.
One of the most common causes of decreased patient satisfaction is long wait times. Overbooking can cause unexpected delays, and long wait times can cause a patient to cancel their appointment all together.

3. Keep track of your patient no-shows.
If you’re beginning to realize that patient no-shows are increasing at your medical practice, start a tracking and reporting system. Being able to analyze your patient no-show data may be able to help you find the cause - and hopefully develop an action plan to decrease the trend.

4. Implement an automated appointment reminder system.
According to Medscape, implementing automated appointment reminders could reduce patient no-shows by as much as 40%. And by receiving automated appointment reminders through the patient’s preferred communication method (text, voice or email), patients are up to 5 times more likely to show up for their scheduled appointment.

BONUS - Check out this case study to see an example of how Alert Solutions’ automated appointment reminder system helped this practice decrease their patient no-show rate to 10% below the national average!

Alert Solutions' Patient Communication Suite Download Our Brochure!

 

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

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