A few weeks ago, we discussed the growing importance of having the right electronic health record (EHR). An important part of many EHRs is a digital patient engagement component.
Whether as part of your EHR or a separate marketing goal, digital engagement with patients has become a critical way to communicate with them effectively. Healthcare used to be prominently driven by location, everything from receiving care to making payments was done in-person. Technology has given patients more flexibility. Now, they don’t necessarily need to be present in a practice to manage their care or pay bills. Consumer industries have changed with the growth of mobile devices and online access to expand their reach and give consumers 24/7 access to services and products. Physicians are using a similar approach to advance patient communication, reduce manual workload and keep patients better informed about their care.
Creating Better Patient Experiences and Accessibility
As organizations and companies become more accessible to consumers, those same consumers—who are patients—want the same accessibility for their healthcare, such as schedules, payments and registration at times that work for their daily schedules. Digital patient engagement tools offer mobile-first access to patients 24/7, giving them the ability to complete routine tasks related to their skin care when it works for them, using technology they already use daily.
Communicating Financial Responsibility
High-deductible health plans and large co-pays mean patients are now paying more than ever for their healthcare services, which can dictate how patients make skin care decisions. Patients do more research, they think more carefully about when and where they seek care. Communication with patients is key because patient financial hurdles can cause some patients to avoid care altogether, prolonging care until there’s an emergency and contributing to no-shows. Patient engagement is important with informing patients of their financial responsibilities, removing unknowns and sources of anxiety, and resources that can help.
Advancing Your Technology
Digital patient engagement solutions are bridging the gap between patient expectations and the experiences they receive. Automated patient engagement solutions like appointment reminders, patient satisfaction surveys, reputation management (for online reviews), electronic registration and patient self-scheduling, can be triggered by patient data in the EHR and scheduling system and carried out without requiring precious human resources to manually reach out to patients.
Building Your Strategy
Whether you have some parts of your plan already in place or are just getting started:
- Get the right team members involved.
- Evaluate how your patients are currently interacting with your practice.
- Look at what parts of the patient experience are currently automated.
- Determine how many patient touchpoints could be accessed through a mobile-first strategy.
- Decide which patient experience touchpoints are most important to automate.
- Set your KPIs and measurements for success.
Need additional support with your digital patient engagement? Our practice management experts are here to support you. Schedule a consultation today!