7 Tips to Modernize Patient Engagement with Technology

patient engagement

Do you feel like your medical practice is out of date? Are you worried your patient engagement is dropping? You’re not alone.

Today, over 77% of patients prefer to book medical appointments online. But not all practices offer that.

Practices everywhere are trying to stay up to date with the new patient engagement tools to keep their customers coming back. Meeting the needs and wants of your patients is crucial in our constantly changing world.

Keeping up to date with digital patient platforms is key to keeping your patients at your practice. Read the following tips to modernize your patient platforms to meet current trends.  

1. Create a Patient Portal

Patient portals have not been around for long. But with the increased demand for access to health records, patient portals have become a new norm for medical practices.

Through a patient portal, patients can review and update their medical records without the hassle of paperwork. The digital patient platforms allow for patients to update their information. Patients can update their preferred pharmacies, medications, allergies, and consent forms.

Patients can fill out these documents both at home and at the office. Instead of waiting to give their information at the office, patients can save time by doing it at home before arriving.

Worst case scenario, your patient forgot and has to do it in your office. With patient portals and easy access to technology, the process is much simpler.

Besides handling their medical records, your patients can also schedule their appointments as well. With over three billion people in the world who have smartphones, patient tools need to be accessible at the click of a button.

Patient portals also increase patient engagement through communication with the practice. Results for lab tests and any notes the doctor has can be uploaded to the portal for patient access. Patients can view bills and make payments through the portal as well.

Choosing to work through a patient portal and an appointment scheduling program gives you more time to work with patients. 

patient engagement

2. Give Patients the Option for Telehealth

With the Telehealth market projected to grow to almost 400 billion dollars at the end of 2026, your practice needs to modernize to stay in the limelight. This growth stems from the recent changes in the healthcare field. The healthcare field has the desire to stay up to date with other industries’ changes in technology.

Sometimes patients are not able to make it into your doctor’s office during your hours without taking time off of work or needing childcare. Their appointments may be delayed due to the in-person options. If possible, why not give them the option to visit the doctor virtually?

Now that our world is facing a pandemic, providing virtual telehealth options for patients is crucial. With telehealth, you can reach more vulnerable populations who may be at risk of coming into the office.

Telehealth also provides you with the opportunity to see patients over video for reasons that you don’t need to be in person. You can use a video call to renew prescriptions or hold a therapy session.

You can not only save time in your practice by providing virtual visits, but you’re also keeping patients happier by saving their time. Still not convinced?

With telehealth, you can reach markets and patients that you otherwise couldn’t have. You’re helping people while also bringing more patients to your practice which will increase your revenue in the long term.

patient engagement

3. Increase Patient Engagement with Self-Scheduling

Over 50% of all patients said they rank convenience and access to healthcare information as their highest priority as a patient. Patients want to be able to schedule, change, or cancel their own appointments with convenience. If you’re looking to modernize patient engagement, allowing for self-scheduling is the first thing you should focus on.

Patients Want Online Scheduling Options

Patients are switching to practices that offer more ways to book appointments. In a recent survey conducted by Accenture, 68% of patients said they would switch practices to have more access to online booking options. Offering online scheduling options will encourage existing patients to stay at your practice.

Online Scheduling Options Never Close

If you want to give your patients access to booking appointments when it’s most convenient to them, prioritizing online scheduling is a must.

Not only will this 24/7 option benefit your patients, but it will also keep your schedule more full. Patients can book after hours and check to see any availability without having to call and waiting on hold.  If a slot opens up or there was a last-minute cancellation, patients can see that on the online portal and immediately book.

Staff Will Get Back Time

When patients had to call and be put on a waiting list if slots opened up, there was less time to run the practice efficiently. With online scheduling, there is more time given back to staff as well as patients.

Staff will have more time to do other important tasks. They won’t have to worry about emailing patients, returning calls, or checking schedules. The online scheduling takes that out of the equation.

Better Patient Engagement

No one likes to be put on hold when they are trying to schedule an appointment for themselves during a busy day. Yet, that is usually what happens. Digitizing patient platforms will reduce patient frustration and increase the likelihood they come back for years.

4. Send Patient Reminders

Missed appointments are a downer on both sides of the equation. With modernized technology, missed appointments can be significantly reduced.

Sending patient reminders will cut out any frantic moments where patients are scrambling to get to their appointment. If a patient has forgotten that they have an appointment coming up, the text reminder will quickly remind them of the date and time. 

Reminders will also reduce the doctor’s frustration when there are no-shows. With fewer no-shows, there will be more revenue coming into your practice.

Patient reminders can be set up through platforms that automatically text or call a patient. They then update patient confirmation statuses directly in the system to take out the human component, which saves time and money.

Besides using appointment reminders, you can also connect the program to remind patients to schedule their follow-up appointments. Additionally, since we’re not perfect, there will still be no-shows. With digital technology, if a patient does not show up, a text will be sent that will ask them if they want to reschedule.

patient engagement

5. Sending Out Patient Surveys

Patient surveys can also be added to increase patient engagement. People love their voices to be heard and giving them a way to do so will increase their satisfaction with your practice. Patient surveys will give you valuable feedback to both your medical practice and the non-clinical sectors of your practice.

In your surveys, you can ask about communication, responsiveness, cleanliness, and so much more to better your practice.

patient survey

Fix Your Services

Once your patients take the survey, your practice can pinpoint the issues and determine productive solutions. If there are issues with patient convenience, the feedback provided to you will allow you to take steps to improve your quality. If patients are looking for other services, you can add these services to your practice to increase patient engagement and better retention.

Surveys Show You Care

Besides improving your practice, providing patient surveys demonstrates that you are concerned about providing the best care possible. They’ll be aware that you want to give them great experiences and make them happy.

Patients can give feedback on the practice itself, specific providers, and their overall experience. You can take this and make changes to show how you appreciate their feedback.

Increase Revenue

You may receive feedback about staff performance or something in your practice that patients feel is missing. Training staff to get better won’t only benefit your customers, but will also increase staff engagement. With the increase in performance and other services, you will increase your revenue in the long term.

6. Increased Marketing of Artificial Intelligence

Adding Artificial Intelligence to your practice doesn’t mean having robots running your doctor’s office and caring for patients. There are ways that the technology behind AI is changing patient engagement as we know it.

Chatbots

Chatbots are a form of Artificial Intelligence that improves the patient experience. These are much like they are in other service sectors, helping customers find the information they need via live chat. Chatbots work to streamline patient questions and point them to where they need to go to find more helpful information.

Some practices have utilized chatbots to determine what care a patient needs. The chatbot asks for a checklist of information and then directs them to specific care. By doing this, they are taking out the human element to save time for other tasks.

Before implementing a chatbot at your practice, it’s important to understand what services can be provided through a chat rather than a phone call. Sifting through this first will save you the headache of patient frustration later on.

patient engagement

Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing, or NLP, is a form of Artificial Intelligence that can generalize medical terms for your patients.

In a practice’s database, electronic health records store all of a patient’s data. However, is not put in the simplest of terms, nor is it necessarily organized in a way that patients can understand. Natural Language Processing allows this data to be sorted and organized in a way that can then be pushed out to patients through a patient portal.

Instead of health data that is sitting useless, NLP transforms it to be helpful information and data for patients and doctors alike. What could once take hours to translate for patients to understand is now delegated to Artificial Intelligence.

Administrative Tasks

Artificial Intelligence is starting to be used to help with administrative tasks as well. Instead of wasting valuable staff time on mundane tasks, AI can sort through it for you. Artificial Intelligence can organize medical records, process claims, and document any important information.

7. Storing Information in Electronic Health Records

Originally, electronic health records began to keep track of patient records more systematically and thoroughly than manually inputting patient data.

Before electronic records, doctors had to input all patient information in a notebook by hand. The problem with this isn’t just how time-consuming it was, but also how easily records could be lost or damaged. If a patient transferred to a different doctor or moved to a new home, their medical records couldn’t easily follow them.

Sometimes patients do not know their past medical data, so losing this valuable information can be detrimental.

The implementation of electronic health records has allowed for better patient engagement. All data follows the patient, ensuring the doctor and the patient are on the same page.

Moving to electronic health records is especially important in moments of emergency. If an emergency occurs, doctors can access patient information and treat them accordingly.

Besides managing patient data, these electronic records can also notify you when a patient is overdue for an appointment. The newer digital platforms help you keep your patients safe and healthy!

electronic health record

Keep Track of Patient Appointments

No more than ever, it’s important to give your patients the convenience they need in our busy world. Most people want to have access to everything with the click of a button, and there’s no easier way to do that than modernizing your technology.

If you’re ready to modernize your patient platforms and increase patient engagement, schedule your demo with us today!

Brock Wackerle

Brock Wackerle - 10 posts

An experienced Silicon Valley to Midwest digital content strategist, Brock has brought a modern approach to marketing and is disrupting the status quo of storytelling. He has been a part of numerous company rebrands shaking up their digital footprint by dismantling the standard process of content generation. Between millennials being native to the digital language and understanding the customer he has developed strategies to increase organic traffic to DaySmart’s products by over 150%.

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