Why is it important to engage your patients in their healthcare? How do you engage them effectively? Patient satisfaction is important to their well-being and to the success of your independent practice. Here are three ways to optimize patient engagement that will benefit you and your patients.
When you practice patient engagement, you are encouraging patients to become more involved in their care plan with the goal of seeing improved outcomes. A patient who is engaged works together with you, actively participating in the decision-making process, and that benefits everyone involved.
Patients are taking a greater interest in their health. They want to have easy and convenient access to their medical records, to a communication portal, and to the quality care you offer in person and through telehealth. Those with chronic conditions, especially, are increasingly interested in being able to participate in their own care.
A 2020 survey found that 66% of those participating who had chronic conditions wanted to take a more proactive approach to their health. In that same study, 56% of the participants were more interested in managing underlying conditions than they were prior to the start of the pandemic.
Studies have also shown that when a patient is more engaged, they experience:
- More realistic expectations of side effects or recovery time
- Less treatment anxiety
- Greater adherence to treatment plans.
Healthcare costs can also be reduced through patient engagement. One research study found that patients with the lowest rates of engagement had total costs of care that were 21% higher the following year.
Understanding the benefits for you, your patients, and your practice, how do you optimize patient engagement?
Involve patients in coordinated care treatment. When patients participate in the conversations, their coordinated care becomes more effective. The benefits of engaging patients in collaborative care include greater patient satisfaction and improved healthcare outcomes, which also reduces the total cost of their care.
Give patients access through a secure portal. The portal must be user-friendly, supporting patient-centered outcomes. It should also be integrated into clinical encounters so that your team uses it to communicate with patients, convey information, and support their self-care and decision-making. A wide range of patients should be encouraged to use the portal, including those who may not seem to be technology savvy. They will be more likely to use it when the functionality supports patient activation and continued interaction.
Give patients access to remote care. Your patients are more likely to be engaged in proactive health when they have the option of convenient access to care from the safety and comfort of their own home. Telehealth, or virtual visits, augment the quality in-person care you provide by enabling continuous, collaborative care.
How does Elation Health help your practice optimize practice engagement? Elation’s electronic health record (EHR) solution makes connecting with your patients seamless and convenient through:
- Secure messaging via the patient portal, which has been shown to improve health outcomes
- Telehealth capabilities, which improves access to care and reduces the cost of care
- Patient education opportunities through the bulk letter feature, enabling improved population health for your patients.
In addition, Elation continues to enhance patient satisfaction with the new SMS opt-in functionality.
Communicating with your patients consistently and effectively can be the key to optimizing their involvement in their healthcare, as you both work toward improved outcomes and reduced costs.