Patient retention

Patient Engagement Strategy 101

October 4, 2017
4 min read
Last updated on
Patient Engagement Strategy 101
Table of contents

Do you have a patient engagement strategy in place?

A recent Deloitte survey found that 70% of respondents indicated that their organizations were moderately/somewhat ready to implement effective patient engagement strategies. While the majority have an established program, half responded that it is only moderately; or not at all mature.

For those who need to clearly outline patient engagement for your practice (which translates to patient loyalty, satisfaction, and growth), ask yourselves the following to create an outline for the process:

  • Do you know, specifically, who your patients are?
  • Are you meeting those patientsโ€™ demands for support services?
  • Do your services serve to optimize patient outcomes?
  • Do your technology solutions allow you to leverage data as a strategic asset?

Prioritizing Patient Engagement

We're biased. Over half of healthcare professionals surveyed in a recent study do not believe that patients want to take an active role in their healthcare.

The study found the following:

Over half of provider respondents (MDs, RNs, NPs) stated that patients would not be interested in shared decision making, they would rather have the provider tell them what to do.

43% stated that shared decision making will take too much time and effort.

43% Believe that patients are not fully able to understand the risks benefits of the treatment option.

Shared decision making (SDM) is a cornerstone of patient-centered care with 85-90% of breast cancer patients preferring an active or shared role in decision-making for breast surgery.

Shared decision making has been shown to:improve patientsโ€™ understanding of treatment options, result in more conservative care choices, and lead to lower healthcare costs.

We can't neglect the fact that implementing these strategies can be difficult, and there are real barriers that exist.

But, there are incentives as well...

With the shift to value-based payment models(as well as the uncertainty of the future of Obamacare in the US), there is more incentive for organizations to implement new patient engagement strategies to engage patients in between visits.

The 5,000 Hour Problem

The average patient only spends a few hours a year with their doctors and care team. They spend the remaining 5,000 hours on everything else. Patient engagement, influences the patient experience during these 5,000 hours. Arguably, these hours are just as important (if not more) when it comes to promoting positive health outcomes (hello, population health).

In a 2016 study, 68% of healthcare professionals say they are currently using or have plans to implement patient-generated data, only 34% are currently using it at scale, leaving 13% in pilot stages and 22% planning for it in the next 24 months.

Patient-generated data is defined as health-related data created, recorded, or gathered by or from patients (or family members or other caregivers) to help address a health concern. For example, patients could share the results of their blood glucose monitoring, blood pressure readings, or exercise programs (study).

Klara gives you the power to easily develop a patient engagement flow on one platform.

Encouraging Patient Engagement: Factors to Consider

โ€ข Therapy: Connecting with patients to provide access to and support with their care. Specific therapy-related solutions include access to care, specialty pharmacy triage, distribution solutions, site of care/infusion site match, lab/test results coordination, and nurse visits.

โ€ข Financial: Helping patients obtain the resources they require to stay on therapy. Specific financial solutions include insurance verification, benefits investigation, claims appeals and re-coding, prior authorization, co-pay assistance, and bridge therapy programs.

โ€ข Clinical: Providing patients with a point of contact during trials and assisting with transitioning from clinical to commercial drugs, specifically clinical trial support and risk evaluation and mitigation strategies.

โ€ข Engagement: Granting patients access to programs via traditional and emerging channels that will help support their unique treatment journeys and enable better long-term treatment outcomes. Specific engagement-related solutions include enrollment and consent, case management, patient adherence programs, portals, assistance with appointments and scheduling, mobile health monitoring, telehealth, and advocacy.

โ€ข Education: Delivering educational insights to inform patient decision making and behaviors. Solutions include medical information and pharmacovigilance, nursing educational support, and between-visit care (Deloitte Review).

Keep ahead of the curve by developing your patient engagement strategy. The majority of individuals surveyed saw patient engagement tools Extremely Important within the next two years.

Interested in how technology can be used to improve patient engagement?

Klara works with your individual practice and organizational workflow to improve patient outcomes, boost patient engagement and office efficiency. We offer free 20 min scoping calls for interested practices (zero commitment) to see if we're a fit.

Have some time this week? You can schedule directly with us here.

Simon Bolz, Co-Founder, Klara

A serial entrepreneur, Simon founded two technology companies in Berlin. He then found his true passion in healthcare helping build Germanyโ€™s most innovative implantology clinic group. Simon studied at the London School of Economics, Humboldt Universitรคt Berlin, and got a Masters at the New School for Social Research in New York. In 2013, he and Simon Lorenz, Ph.D. founded Klara with the mission to transform communication in healthcare, so every patient can receive great care.

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