Companies that sell products and offer recreational services don’t struggle that much to get daily customers since people can be actively involved and practice recreational activities every day. Unfortunately, engaging patients is more difficult for health provider organizations.
Most people don’t like going to the doctor, and it’s not easy to get people to be actively engaged with a place they often go to only when they feel bad.
On a general overview, that could be somehow accurate since healthy people don’t need to go to the hospital (unless it’s for a check-up). The problem with that is that healthcare brands have a lot of trouble getting more patients and keeping the ones they already have.
Patients and medical professionals don’t usually get how much patient engagement can help both the patient and the healthcare system. If you are part of a patient-care team or a healthcare organization, read this blog to know how a well-implemented and successful patient engagement strategy can help you and which ones to use.
What Is Patient Engagement?
Patient engagement consists of the collaboration between the health system and patients to go through their medical treatment and take care of themselves in the best way possible. Although it’s not a common term for patients, healthcare organizations use it a lot.
It’s important to note that patient engagement is not the same as patient activation. If we were to define patient activation, we’d say it’s the individual actions a patient can take to acknowledge their current situation and understand what they can do to avoid any future health issues. Having a healthy diet, for example, is something activated patients would do.
Engaged patients are the ones who actively practice self-management activities and engage in shared decision-making with the health center. These patients don’t need to be sick or feel bad to go to a clinic or a doctor’s appointment since their primary goal is to prevent any problems from happening.
How Can Patient Engagement Improve Patient Outcomes?
As mentioned before, patient engagement is not something that solely helps health organizations; it’s also beneficial for patients.
The director of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute stated that patient engagement leads to better research results, which helps each state meet its health goals for the year.
Apart from improving the general population’s health, working actively with their own care teams helps patients follow a consistent direction of wellness and a healthy lifestyle. Even if they don’t feel bad, every patient needs to take care of several things, such as their blood pressure, keeping a healthy lifestyle, and any chronic conditions they could have.
Less activated patients tend to ignore the health literacy recommended by their doctor and look for the treatment options they like better. However, that might lead to the development of worse health issues in the future.
Engagement is one of the most precious resources a health center has, so all health organizations should use their data access to personal information to prepare the best plans for their patients.
What Can Healthcare Professionals Do to Improve Patient Engagement?
Patient engagement strategies based on clinical evidence are the solution that healthcare professionals need to improve their care management and increase patient activation levels.
Here are five useful patient engagement tools and solutions for your health center:
Invest in Social Media Management
The digital marketing era is here, and it’s helping all kinds of businesses to generate more leads and increase their revenue.
However, not many health centers have used digital marketing tools to empower patients to worry about their health.
Creating optimized content that your patients can read easily may help them understand more about what they can do to take care of their own health outcomes.
According to the National Library of Medicine, promoting social media management helps surgeons and health centers create a patient engagement community for people to support themselves through their medical treatments. You can try it if you want a patient engagement solution more oriented to younger people.
Send Direct Mails and Emails
Approaching people directly is an excellent way to ensure patients you care about them and how they feel. However, not many people like phone calls, so using them is not always a safe bet.
Sending people direct mails and emails is a better and more classic way to do it. A Mail Chimp survey revealed that the open rate for emails in the healthcare industry is 21.7%, which is a great number.
Patient Education Through Quality Content
If your patient comprehends their health situation, they may make an effort to help throughout their wellness journey. That’s the reason offering patient education is an excellent patient engagement strategy since it makes the people who attend your clinic feel part of the process. Feeling helpful in their recovery process is excellent for patient activation.
Use Digital Patient Engagement Platforms
Electronic health records are a nice alternative that can help you do any patient survey you want to receive patient data. However, that’s only one of the many engagement tools available for health centers these days.
These platforms include several features to help you stay in touch with your patients, make them keep track of their progress, and study electronic medical records.
Monitor your Patients Remotely
Although many doctors are not used to it, checking on your patients is always good for patient activation. Asking them how they feel through different patient portals eliminates the need for them to go out of their houses to talk with you, which increases patient satisfaction.
With the global healthcare pandemic going on, the rise of telemedicine became a huge trend. With teleconsultation options, building good doctor-patient relationships has become easier.
Bottom Line – Is It Worth It to Improve Patient Engagement Strategies?
Investing in a successful patient engagement strategy represents a profitable way to increase patient engagement. Use the personal data you have on clinical records and plan a custom strategy to boost motivational support, shared decision making, and the overall patient experience.
Remember you can always check how effective your engagement strategies are by using the Patient Activation Measure. If you are not doing as well as you thought you would, encouraging patients to use a patient portal to communicate with you is always good to increase engagement.
If you want to know what patient engagement strategy will work best for your medical practice, start your digital journey now with an award-winning healthcare marketing agency.
Book a strategy call with Digitalis and let us know how we can help.
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