Patient engagement is becoming more and more important for maintaining patient satisfaction. As a healthcare professional, you need to ensure that you’re meeting patients’ demands in order to stay relevant in today’s increasingly competitive healthcare market.
A recent study conducted by NRC Health found that 80% of patients are selecting providers based on convenience factors alone. Patients are demanding better access to providers, and that’s why it’s essential to understand that strong patient engagement is the key to strong patient satisfaction.
Patient engagement is an ongoing process of reinforcing a positive patient experience. You can boost your patient engagement in many ways, including the use of different tools and workforce training. And it’s not just about implementing these solutions and letting them run — you need to find a way to get your staff and patients on board to get the best results and make a lasting impact on your patient engagement.
It’s about creating a culture of patient engagement.
But what are some of the most important factors to consider when you’re creating a patient engagement strategy?
Below, we take a dive into some trends regarding patient engagement to help you understand how to improve your patient satisfaction — and even help mollify stressed-out and overburdened staff members.
Tips for Creating a Patient Engagement Strategy
When crafting your patient engagement strategy, it’s important to recognize that patients today want to be stakeholders in their care.
Patients want access to information regarding their care — including everything from test results to care instructions for chronic conditions. Sometimes, that simply means providing patients access to their medical records through a patient portal. Of course, patients have to adopt your solution in order for it to be effective. That’s why patient portals aren’t necessarily the best solutions for patient engagement — historically, there have been very low patient adoption rates because EHR portals just aren’t built with a simple user experience in mind.
Additionally, you may find that giving your patients more robust access to instructions for follow-up care can help boost your patient engagement and patient satisfaction. Your practice needs to find ways to supplement the care that patients receive in order to keep them satisfied between visits and improve healthcare outcomes.
Effective communication helps in all of these endeavors. And for that reason, patient communication is the heart of patient engagement.
Patient Engagement and Technology Go Hand in Hand
Patient engagement requires differentiating your practice in some way. And in today’s healthcare market, that usually means adopting new technologies to help enhance the patient experience.
With patients acting more like consumers than ever before, you have to demonstrate the value that they will receive by choosing to work with your practice.
Technology won’t guarantee patient engagement, but finding the right tool can have tangible results in boosting your patient satisfaction. The key is to find a solution that will allow you to communicate with patients about all aspects of their care, including scheduling appointments, sending reminders, requesting documentation before the appointment, sending post-care instructions and lab results, and addressing clinical questions and prescription refills.