From the traditional fee-for-service model, the healthcare sector has evolved into a value-based payment model. Accountability in healthcare services, is no longer an added ‘element,’ rather an essential feature to deliver healthcare solutions and engage patients in an effective manner. Often seen as a mere tool, patient engagement has evolved into a strategy critical for achieving the three major goals of the healthcare industry,
- Enhancing patient experience
- Improving the overall health of the population
- Cutting down the per capita healthcare costs
Contrary to popular belief, patient engagement and patient experience are two different concepts altogether. Though both aim at driving better health outcomes, patient engagement is more about empowering the patients by providing them access to health self-management tools. The essential point is that the patient is the most important stakeholder in the entire healthcare system. While a Harris poll with a runtime of five years shows that around 75% of patients want access to their medical records, a recent survey proved that engaged patients experience greater quality and value of medical services.
All the points mentioned above bring us to the core idea that patient engagement is a critical aspect of every healthcare organization. One of the best ways in which you can improve your patient engagement solution is by bringing health IT into the system.
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Better Patient Engagement through Health IT
While medical practitioners always knew that active involvement of the patient is the key to better medical care, until recently it was rather tricky to bring the patient and the medical practitioner on the same platform. With digitization and the emergence of health IT however, the entire process has become a lot more easy and seamless. Patients prefer using online portals to communicate with the physicians, manage their health data, keep a check on medical expenses, and take self-care at home. Health IT, thus, plays a very crucial role in the better delivery and maintenance of health services.
The patient engagement research conducted by analysts at Quantzig pinpoints to five essential strategies that are sure to improve the overall performance of the medical organizations.
#Point 1 – Having a clear-cut Understanding of the Area of Focus
Despite being in the medical industry for decades, organizations fail to figure out and concentrate on their major areas of focus. In case you are aiming to cater to patients suffering from a chronic disease, then the way in which you will be engaging them will be different when compared to those suffering from communicable diseases. Similarly, the age group of the focused patient community is another aspect that needs to be defined to build great patient engagement solutions.
#Point 2 – Building a Culture of Engagement
The noted health IT strategy consultant Leonard Kish, famously said, “If patient engagement were a drug, it would be the blockbuster drug of the century and malpractice not to use it.” This one line sums up why it is essential for health practitioners and Medicare organizations to build a culture of engagement. Already industries like banking and retail business have taken up to ‘customer engagement’ and have reaped huge benefits out of it. It is the time that as a medical practitioner you too build a culture of engagement with your patients with technology, better and prompt diagnosis, regular arrangement of health talks and seminars, and most of all consistent follow-ups.
#Point 3 – Adopting the Right Technology and Security Measures
Recent ransomware episodes show how the medical industry is one of the easiest targets of cyber attacks. Therefore, it becomes even more important that the health IT is all set to meet these challenges. Integrating patient communication platforms, choosing cloud-based software, and diligently complying with policies like HIPAA, are some of the basic technical criteria which every medical organization should meet with.
#Point 4 – Encouraging Patients to go Digital
Even though the online medium is quite popular, and digitization is the rule of the day – yet there are several in the patient community who prefer medical care the traditional way. It is for the medical organizations to educate the patients that the online medium is equally helpful, or rather has many more advantages. Once the awareness is created among the patients on how easy and cost-effective digital medium can really be, it gets a lot easier to engage them.
Don’t know where to begin? Speak to our analytics experts today to know how to go about redesigning your patient engagement plan.
#Point 5 – Keeping Track of Feedback and Revisiting Patient Engagement Strategies
This is last, but one of the most crucial aspects of boosting one’s patient engagement strategy. Often organizations fail in charting progress, or even revamping their engagement strategies. Such an approach is sure to affect targets set by you, and will not help you get a realistic picture of how effective your strategy has been.