Patient engagement is crucial for healthcare providers. Not only are engaged patients generally healthier, but they also have better visit attendance, a better understanding of costs and treatments, and improved quality of life. Therefore, medical practices should do their best to keep every patient engaged in their own healthcare. Here are five ways to help increase patient engagement on the practice level.
In the past, it was harder for patients to learn about their insurance or their healthcare issues. They'd have to read through their entire plan brochure to find answers to simple questions. If they wanted to read up on their illness, they'd have to head to the library.
Today, it's extremely easy for patients to get these answers simply by browsing the web. Practices need to make sure they're utilizing all avenues available to them, including updating web pages with educational resources, making patient records available online, and even investing in user-friendly apps that encourage involvement.
Improve Data Collection
If providers don't have accurate and complete patient records, then there won't be much for patients to engage with. Providers need to start this effort at the visit level by taking videos. Additionally, they can also use Current Procedural Terminology code 99490 to complete a non-office visit that lets them get in touch with a patient for educational purposes for 20 minutes a month.
A 2013 RAND study found that 80 percent of doctors were unhappy with their electronic health record system because it required too much documentation and reduced the amount of time spent with the patient. However, by working more efficiently in the clinical environment and during patient visits, doctors can easily reduce this dissatisfaction. What's more, advanced electronic health record systems allow them to field messages from patients that have questions about their healthcare. They can even allow patients to report their own outcomes.
Separate the Engagement Process
Patients have more than one identity, and practices should remember this important fact. During a visit, a patient is a person seeking medical care from a doctor. However, when it comes time to pay the bill, they become a consumer. If they have insurance, they'll also be a member of that organization.
Instead of trying to engage a patient in all these facets at once, providers should separate these efforts. Even better, they can work with other organizations in the patient's life, such as insurance companies or employers, to help develop a uniform message across various platforms.
Foster Community Support
The doctor isn't the only person the patient can rely on for engagement. They can also join community support groups to discuss their issues in a safe and understanding place. If these meetings are organized by the provider, all of their patients can form a bond with one another that lets them brainstorm health issues.
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It's also important to reach out to bilingual patients so that they don't feel isolated. Practices should offer bilingual resources and employ someone who can speak a second language like Spanish or French.
Remind Patients About Important Events
It's easy for a patient to forget when their last visit was. Unless the practice calls or sends a postcard to remind them, they might never return. In addition to general wellbeing visits, practices should verbally remind patients about important screenings to prevent possible health issues, such as regular mammograms or a prostate exam.
By following these tips, practices can more effectively engage patients. It's a win-win situation, as patients will be healthier, and the practice will continue to grow.
For more help with any patient engagement issues, contact M-Scribe Technologies, LLC. We can help you simplify your medical claims billing so you can focus more on individual patients. Call us at 888-727-4234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free analysis of your practice’s needs.