Patient engagement at independent practices

Patient engagement is an important part of an independent physician’s role in providing high-quality care to patients. Patient engagement means more than having a conversation during a visit. It means following up with that patient, communicating test results, and checking in on the progress of the patient’s medical plan. It also means the difference in having that patient return for follow-up visits and quite possibly even the difference in the future health and welfare of that patient.

What are some patient engagement strategies for independent physicians?

Key steps to take in engaging patients include:

  • Continuing patient communication beyond the office visit
  • Optimizing the features of a clinical EHR for independent primary care physicians
  • Encouraging patient interactions at critical touch points.

According to a playbook published by Health IT, “patient access to information and communication with providers can increase the quality of life,” particularly for those patients with chronic illnesses.

A clinical EHR for independent primary care physicians offers you much more than the ability to maintain a patient’s health records electronically. You can also quickly identify patients who aren’t meeting goals based on custom care management protocols, reaching out to them to schedule follow-up appointments to address any potential gaps in care.

Knowing that the patient’s time is as valuable as the independent physician’s time, patient engagement can be much more easily and efficiently accomplished through tools such as electronic messaging, to include appointment reminders and answering a patient’s follow-up questions.

Quite often the patient – as well as the independent physician – thinks of information that needs to be shared long after the appointment is done. Communication with the patient enables everyone to share that information in a convenient manner, ensuring that follow-up care is appropriate and effective.

Patient engagement helps both the patient and the independent primary care physician work toward happier, healthier patient results. Employing engagement tools at critical touch points, particularly as part of a follow-up plan, will improve your patient engagement success as an independent physician.