As the healthcare industry struggles to simultaneously optimize workflows, contain costs and improve patient outcomes in an increasingly digital world, patient engagement has become the buzzword of the day.
Many efforts are apparently gaining ground. In one recent survey by CDW Healthcare, 57 percent of U.S. patients and 58 percent of U.S. healthcare providers reported improving their doctor-patient engagement over the past two years.
“The healthcare industry is finally catching up with the rest of the business world and recognizing that to grow and be successful in a competitive marketplace, patients need more in the way of information, quality, access and accountability,” writes Christine Queally Foisey in Medical Practice Insider.
A few patient engagement trends among U.S. healthcare providers:
Better Online Patient Communication
Because 80 percent of Internet users seek health info online, and one in every 20 Google searches is for health-related info (according to CDW), healthcare providers are beefing up their websites and social media pages to offer more patient resources. “The Internet allows us to get what we want at our fingertips,” adds Foisey. “Patients and consumers have started placing these same expectations on healthcare.”
More Efficient Patient Notification Solutions
Healthcare providers are continually seeking new digital tools that optimize email, voice and/or SMS text messaging to improve the clarity and speed of their communications with patients. Patient notification tools are known to boost patient engagement, patient retention and practice revenue.
Greater Emphasis on Patient Self-Care
Wearable monitors, machine learning, Skype, electronic health records and other technological innovations are increasingly allowing patients to track and manage their own healthcare from home with oversight from medical professionals.
Better Cost Control
While healthcare costs remain unmanageably high for many patients, the industry is moving in the direction of cost reduction through machine learning tools that can manage member/patient profiles, file claims, sort medical records, recommend treatments, increase adherence to treatments, identify drug abuse, find fraudulent claims and other functions that normally require human labor.
The movement toward patient engagement is expected to result in even greater efficiencies in the future.
Ask us how we can help improve patient engagement at your medical practice!