More and more patients want to be involved in managing their health care. Empowering patients to schedule their own appointments and manage correspondence, refills, and prior authorizations can lead to higher levels of patient engagement and satisfaction.
Patient engagement initiatives have been found to reduce hospital visits, decrease morbidity and mortality rates, improve treatment adherence, and reduce costs. So how can your practice attain higher levels of patient engagement? The answer lies in how your practice incorporates technology into its day-to-day operations. Technology can play a major role in helping medical practices improve patient engagement levels.
Technology Is Key
Incorporating a technology-based infrastructure to handle a variety of typically labor-intensive tasks can help increase patient engagement. Not every patient will respond favorably to conducting health care interactions online, but patients who are already comfortable with technology will likely embrace the opportunity. Areas where utilizing technology may be beneficial include:
Online scheduling. Appointment cancellations can impact both a practice’s schedule and its revenues. Giving patients the convenience of scheduling their own appointments online may lead to lower no-show rates.
Check-in. Allowing patients to use kiosks or tablet computers to enter personal information and other relevant data before their scheduled appointment can help expedite and streamline the check-in process and increase efficiency levels throughout the practice.
Online care. Many time-consuming routine interactions, such as data collection, can be performed more efficiently online. Portals designed to allow patients to view test results and ask questions related to their care save time and increase patient satisfaction levels.
Devices that allow patients to monitor information related to their medical conditions and relay the data electronically can foster greater understanding among patients about how lifestyle decisions impact their health. Engaged patients may be more likely to comply with medical treatments.