Patient engagement refers to the active participation of patients in healthcare, where they are not just passive recipients of medical services but active partners in decision-making and self-management. By encouraging them to be involved in their care, patient engagement strategies can improve treatment adherence, patient satisfaction, and health outcomes.
For instance, because of its benefits, the US market size of patient engagement solutions is expected to grow from $23.38B in 2022 to as much as $102.46B in 2030.
This article explores the broad concept of improving patient engagement ideas and delves into various strategies healthcare providers can employ to enhance patient engagement.
“SPsoft team’s deep understanding of the healthcare landscape, coupled with our technical mastery, has allowed us to create tailored patient engagement solutions that align perfectly with our clients’ organizations’ goals. Choosing our company for your patient engagement solution development needs means partnering with a team driven by a shared mission to revolutionize healthcare.”
Head of Product Management, SPSoft
“Our team has helped revolutionize patient engagement for numerous healthcare organizations, and I couldn’t be prouder of our impact. From the initial ideation to the final implementation, our dedicated team of experts ensures that we deliver cutting-edge solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients. Together, let’s shape the future of healthcare and empower patients to participate in their care actively.”
The Role of Patient Engagement Strategy in Healthcare
A patient engagement plan transforms healthcare from a passive, provider-centric model to a patient-centered approach. It empowers individuals to participate actively in the healthcare journey, improving outcomes and ensuring greater satisfaction and more efficient delivery of medical services. But how exactly do healthcare organizations and patients benefit from patient engagement strategies?
Discover how cutting-edge solutions are revolutionizing patient care and engagement in our article exploring the diverse range of patient engagement technologies available today.
Benefits of Boosting Patient Engagement in Healthcare
Here are the benefits patient engagement brings to both organizations and patients.
Improved Health Outcomes
Engaged patients have better health outcomes since they follow treatment plans, make healthy lifestyle choices, and adhere to medication regimens. That leads to more effective management of chronic conditions, faster recovery, and reduced hospital readmissions.
Engaging patients in their healthcare promotes shared decision-making between them and providers. Individuals are encouraged to discuss their treatment options, potential risks and benefits, and personal preferences. This collaborative approach results in decisions that align with the patient’s values and goals, improving satisfaction and treatment adherence.
Increased Patient Satisfaction
Patient engagement ideas contribute to higher levels of patient satisfaction. When they feel empowered and involved, they experience greater control and ownership over their health. That promotes increased trust in healthcare providers, better communication, and overall satisfaction with the care received.
Enhanced Patient Safety
Patients play an active role in their safety. They often ask questions, seek clarification, and provide accurate information about their health history, medications, and allergies. Such an active participation helps prevent medication errors, reduces the risk of adverse events, and promotes better communication between patients and healthcare providers.
Patient engagement strategies can reduce healthcare costs for both parties. For example, on average, replacing support calls with solutions like a chatbot or automated appointment booking leads to a 47% cost reduction for the organization. At the same time, patients may avoid costly complications and hospitalizations by actively managing their health, adhering to treatment plans, and seeking preventive care.
Health Promotion and Preventive Care
Patient engagement ideas focus on treating illness, promoting health, and preventing diseases. Engaged patients participate in preventive screenings, adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors, and engage in self-care practices. This proactive approach can lead to early detection of diseases, better disease management, and improved overall population health.
Ready to take your patient engagement efforts to the next level? Whether you need guidance in implementing technology-enabled tools, developing personalized engagement strategies, or overcoming challenges in patient communication, get in touch with us and revolutionize your approach.
4 Key Trends Influencing Patient Engagement
Here are the current trends transforming the patient engagement center today.
Digital Health Technologies
Mobile health apps, patient portals, wearable devices, and remote monitoring tools empower patients to access their health information, communicate with healthcare providers, monitor their health metrics, and actively manage their well-being.
Personalized Medicine and Patient-Centered Care
The shift towards personalized medicine and patient-centered care has placed a greater emphasis on improving patient engagement. Recognizing that each patient is unique, healthcare providers tailor treatments and care plans to individual needs and preferences.
A patient engagement plan plays a crucial role in this approach, as it involves actively involving patients in decision-making, understanding their goals, and collaborating with them to design personalized care plans.
Value-Based Care and Payment Models
The transition from fee-for-service to value-based care models has incentivized healthcare organizations to prioritize patient engagement. Value-based care focuses on improving patient outcomes and experiences while reducing costs.
Patient engagement is a means to achieve these goals by promoting preventive care, reducing hospital readmissions, and improving overall patient satisfaction. Providers are now investing in relevant strategies to meet the requirements of value-based payment models.
Health Literacy and Patient Empowerment
Health literacy, an individual’s ability to understand and use health data to make informed decisions, is gaining recognition as a critical factor in patient engagement implementation. Healthcare organizations are working towards improving health literacy by providing precise and accessible health data, using plain language, and employing visual aids.
9 Patient Engagement Examples for Your Strategy
While increasing patient engagement is a complex process that needs to be tailored to the goals of a specific healthcare organization, here are nine strategies to consider for boosting patient engagement.
Strategy 1. Minimize Barriers to Communication
Obstacles like transportation difficulties and scheduling conflicts can hinder patient engagement. And it has been reported that for 62% of patients, continuous engagement and good communication are the priorities in choosing a provider. Implementing telehealth solutions can effectively address these barriers and improve patient care access.
By offering flexible scheduling options, such as online appointment booking and rescheduling, and providing telehealth services, healthcare providers can make it easier for patients to connect with them, enhancing patient engagement and improving overall healthcare accessibility.
Strategy 2. Simplify Complex Information
Using complex language can hinder patient engagement ideas by creating a barrier between healthcare providers and patients. To address this, it is essential to communicate clearly and avoid jargon and complex terms when discussing medical information with patients. When explaining medical concepts, strive for clarity and encourage patients to summarize the information to ensure comprehension.
Also, prioritize clear communication outside the visiting room — ensure your website, social media, handouts, and other resources address information in simple language.
Strategy 3. Personalize Your Communication
Patient segmentation is a crucial step in creating a personalized patient engagement center. Categorizing patients based on age, gender, location, medical history, diagnosis, and insurance allows you to develop tailored engagement strategies and messages that resonate with each specific patient segment.
Because most patients want personalized communications from their providers, and almost half of them would change their provider if they do not, segmentation is a crucial measure to retain and keep them engaged.
This targeted approach allows you to deliver relevant content, such as educational materials on mammography for women or dietary guidelines for individuals with diabetes, resulting in more meaningful and engaging patient interactions.
Strategy 4. Use Patients’ Preferred Communication Channels
Implementing patient engagement strategies in healthcare involves meeting patients where they are and using their preferred communication channels.
Generally, 3 out of 4 patients consider healthcare providers with mobile tech available to provide a more convenient and faster experience. So pay attention to offering a range of communication channels, including:
- social media
- instant messaging apps
- telehealth video conferencing
It is crucial to diversify communication options, including digital and non-digital solutions, to make engagement accessible and avoid overwhelming patients.
Explore the latest and most effective patient engagement tools in our recent article. Uncover the power of technology in improving patient engagement and healthcare delivery to drive patient satisfaction.
Strategy 5. Automate Patient Engagement Strategies
Automation improves patient satisfaction and connectivity and relieves the burden on staff, mitigating burnout and addressing staff shortages. So, your organization can leverage AI, chatbots, and other technology to automate medical processes like the following:
- educating patients about procedures and tests
- providing relevant recommendations to patients with chronic conditions
- appointment scheduling
- addressing questions related to billing and medical insurance
- collecting patient feedback on your healthcare services
Automating these and other processes can increase patient engagement while enabling healthcare providers to save time and reduce costs.
But remember that automation should complement patient interactions and not replace them completely — human contact is still precious when providing and receiving care.
Strategy 6. Identify At-Risk Patients
Proactively identifying at-risk patients enables healthcare providers to initiate early engagement and address their specific concerns and barriers to care. As medical organizations know which patients are at risk for no-shows, they can personalize patient engagement strategies and explore alternatives like telemedicine to lower no-show rates.
Strategy 7. Engage Through Continuous Care
Improving patient engagement is an ongoing process and may be tackled regardless of the patient’s treatment stage. So let’s discuss how you can engage patients before, during, and after the visit.
Before the Visit
To ensure an effective patient engagement plan, starting a relationship with patients before their first visit is essential. More than half of consumers prefer to look for healthcare providers and book visits online. So creating solutions to schedule patient appointments within a few clicks and without contacting the clinic will bring a positive experience.
Besides, simple pre-visit procedures such as intake forms and appointment reminders can lay the foundation for engagement and benefit patients and healthcare providers. By allowing patients to complete intake forms in the comfort of their own homes, you promote accuracy and openness in providing medical history. That reduces stress, streamlines the intake process, and improves patient satisfaction.
For healthcare providers, having early access to patient data enables better preparation for addressing patient questions and concerns. With a complex medical history, they can focus on addressing current needs rather than gathering patient history during the appointment.
During the Visit
Traditionally, clinicians have adopted a diagnostic and treatment-focused approach to healthcare. However, this approach is outdated since the provider appears distant and impersonal, hindering the delivery of high-quality, patient-centric care.
Instead, use appointments to build a strong patient-doctor relationship to foster loyalty and better healthcare outcomes. When patients connect with their doctors personally, they get an elevated experience. And this leads to increased adherence to treatment plans, medication schedules, and long-term engagement in their health.
So personalize your communication and use technology to get deeper insights into each patient’s medical history, lifestyle preferences, and other aspects to deliver individualized care and engage the patient in the process.
Continuing patient care is crucial even after the visit or discharge, as simply leaving the hospital does not equate to complete healing. Unfortunately, many patients misunderstand, ignore, or choose not to follow aftercare instructions, leading to poor health outcomes, readmissions, and preventable deaths.
Increasing patient engagement should be a continuous process throughout the year. Regular engagement with patients, at least once a month, is a powerful tool for building trust. When healthcare providers proactively reach out to patients outside of emergencies, it fosters trust and increases the likelihood of patients seeking help when needed.
Continuing care also plays a vital role in preventive measures. Consistent engagement can significantly reduce health complications and medical costs for high-risk patients with chronic conditions or all patients.
Aftercare patient engagement may include the following:
- reinforcing medication adherence
- educating patients about essential symptoms and when to seek medical attention
- sending payment reminders and providing financial support if needed
By demonstrating ongoing care and concern, patients are more likely to comply with medication regimens, monitor their conditions, and stay on top of payment responsibilities.
Strategy 8. Educate Patients
Health literacy is crucial in improving patient engagement ideas as it empowers patients to make informed decisions. Healthcare providers can effectively communicate complex topics more understandably by:
- using plain language
- avoiding medical jargon
- incorporating visual aids like diagrams, illustrations, and videos
- providing written take-home materials
- leveraging tools like a virtual health portal or in-app resource center
These and other patient education efforts can enhance patient understanding of what may seem complex about their health and keep them engaged in their care outside of clinics.
Strategy 9. Track Success
It is vital to optimize patient engagement strategies to focus on relevant metrics. That will give you insights into the areas that successfully engage patients or need improvement. So, stay on top of how your organization is doing in terms of increasing patient engagement and satisfaction and consider tracking the following metrics:
- response rates to engagement efforts
- patient activation measures (PAM scores)
- health outcomes
- potentially preventable readmissions (PPR)
- the patient health engagement (PHE) scale
These provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your engagement initiatives and will help your organization drive your patient engagement strategies in the right direction.
Increasing patient engagement is a critical aspect of modern healthcare that holds great potential to improve health outcomes and strengthen the patient-provider relationship.
From segmenting patients to using automation tools like chatbots for efficient communication, healthcare providers can harness the power of technology to engage patients effectively and create a patient-centered healthcare ecosystem that empowers individuals to take an active role in their health.
Embark on a journey of patient-centered care! Contact us now to learn how our innovative patient engagement solutions can improve your healthcare organization’s outcomes.
Healthcare providers should prioritize effective communication and shared decision-making to improve patient engagement. It is also helpful to use digital health tools and resources to empower patients in managing their health and accessing relevant information and support.
The factors influencing patient engagement are effective communication, patient-provider relationships, and access to health information and resources. A supportive healthcare environment that promotes health literacy and patient education also plays a crucial role in fostering a patient engagement plan.
A patient engagement plan is a strategy healthcare organizations develop to actively involve patients in their healthcare journey. It outlines specific goals and actions to promote patient engagement, such as improving communication, enhancing health literacy, using digital health tools, and promoting shared decision-making.
Patient engagement is essential in healthcare because it improves health outcomes by encouraging patients to participate in their care actively. It also enhances patient satisfaction and reduces healthcare costs by preventing complications and unnecessary interventions.