Patient engagement has quickly become a buzzword among medical professionals as we face the potential of another pandemic. That’s because creating a culture of communication and collaboration between care teams and the people they serve ultimately leads to better health outcomes and improved healthcare workflow.
But what is patient engagement in the first place? Why is it important to have strategies for implementing it? In this article, we’ll explore those questions and provide some tips on how you can encourage patient engagement in your practice.
Table of Contents
- What Is Patient Engagement?
- Why Is Patient Engagement Important During a Pandemic?
- Strategies for Patient Engagement
- Patient Engagement Solution
What Is Patient Engagement?
Patient engagement is a process through which healthcare providers ensure that patients are actively involved in their care. There are many ways to achieve this, but the most common strategies for patient engagement include:
- promoting patient-provider communication
- providing patients with educational materials
- involving them in decision-making
This process has been shown to enhance patient experience, which is an important goal for many healthcare providers.
Here are some terms that are related to patient engagement:
It is a process that begins when a patient arrives at a healthcare facility and ends when the patient leaves. Patient management includes everything from greeting the patient and collecting their medical information to providing treatment and discharge planning.
The goal is to ensure that the patient receives the best possible care and to minimize the risk of complications. In order to be effective, patient management must be tailored to individual needs.
There are many different ways to interact with patients, but some of the most common methods include face-to-face interactions, telephone calls, and online communication.
No matter what method you use, it’s important to remember that the goal is to establish trust and collaboration. This allows everyone to work together to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.
This can include everything from the first impression upon entering the facility to the interactions they have with staff and the level of care they receive. While patient experience is often thought of in terms of customer service, remember that patients are coming to receive medical care, not to shop.
As such, the focus should be on providing high-quality treatment efficiently and compassionately. By understanding patient experience, healthcare providers can identify areas where improvements need to be made to better serve their patients.
Why Is Patient Engagement Important During a Pandemic?
Patient engagement is essential when dealing with a large number of sick persons. When engaged, patients tend to follow medical advice and care plans. They’re also more likely to schedule appointments and attend them.
That’s especially important during a pandemic when the actions of a few can have far-reaching consequences. Even one person violating quarantine can result in hundreds of new cases in a matter of days.
Furthermore, engaged patients are more likely to be satisfied with their care. Happy patients will continue using the same provider even when more affordable options become available. In today’s competitive healthcare landscape, that’s a major advantage.
Finally, engaged patients take a more active role in their health management. This includes everything from tracking symptoms to monitoring medications. When patients do this, it removes some of the providers’ burdens. When patients have ownership of treatment, they are more likely to stay healthy.
Promoting patient engagement makes everyone’s job a little bit easier. That’s why it is so crucial not just in a pandemic context but at any time.
Strategies for Patient Engagement
Here are some ways to foster patient engagement in both large hospitals and small clinics:
There’s wisdom in having a warm and friendly bedside manner, something that applies not just to doctors but to support staff as well. This approach helps build trust between patients and their healthcare providers.
For example, given the popularity of tech-enabled health solutions, patients are understandably concerned about the security of their personal information. By taking the time to have a one-on-one conversation, providers can show that they respect their patients’ privacy and are committed to protecting confidential information.
Personalized interaction allows doctors to gain a deeper understanding of a patient’s needs and preferences. This information can then be used to customize treatment plans, increasing the likelihood that patients will comply and see positive results.
Finally, personalized interaction makes patients feel valued, which can greatly improve patient satisfaction.
Integrated technology allows providers to easily collect data from patients and track their progress over time. This is important for chronic conditions or patients receiving treatment for multiple conditions.
Using cross-platform technology also makes it easy for patients to access their medical records and make appointments online. The added convenience can help improve compliance with appointments and prescription medications.
Thanks to technology, patients also get to enjoy improved communications. For example, some EHR systems allow providers to remind patients about upcoming appointments or laboratory results. These reminders can be sent via email or through an automatic mobile notification.
Finally, integrated technology can reduce the cost of care by making it easier for providers to share resources with patients. For example, using online forms and esignature apps eliminates the need for paper, ink, printing equipment, and filing supplies. Not only that but you also save time as these tools are often automated.
Physician and staff involvement
One key strategy is getting the commitment of doctors, nurses, and support staff. Examples of physician involvement might include providing patients with written materials about their condition, referring them to support groups or educational programs, or simply taking the time to answer their questions.
Additionally, providers who use patient-friendly language and avoid medical jargon are more likely to be effective communicators. It ensures that patients understand their condition and are aware of available resources. When providers take the time to explain treatment options and involve patients in decision-making, it also fosters a sense of partnership.
Whatever the approach, it is crucial to ensure that patients feel their opinions are being heard.
Informed and empowered patients
One example of patient engagement is providing patients with information about their condition and treatment options. This helps to ensure that patients can make informed decisions about their care.
Another example is involving patients in decisions about treatment, if they are physically and mentally able to do so. This could involve soliciting input from patients about treatment preferences. An expectant mother can have an epidural or opt for more natural ways of pain relief. Patients can choose to get treated at home or the nearest hospital, provided these places are properly equipped.
The Best Patient Engagement Solution
Speaking of integrated technology, what if there’s a way to use it to make filling out medical forms easier and faster? Most patients dislike having to write down their personal information over and over again on printed forms. So why not boost patient engagement by creating digital forms that are easier to fill out? They can even do this before their visit so that they don’t have to stay at the clinic for long.
That’s where Fill comes in. This online form builder lets you create custom forms and documents without any coding required. Best of all, it has a range of features that make filling out forms more convenient than ever before.
Choose from a range of templates that lets you collect vital information. If you already have an existing PDF file, simply upload it to the app and convert it to a fillable form. You can even start from scratch and manually add the fields and sections that you need.
Speaking of medical records, Fill’s online signing feature is ideal for getting patients to sign consent forms and release of information agreements. Simply upload your document, add the signature fields, and send it to your patients. They can then sign it electronically with just a few clicks. No more chasing down paper copies. Plus, you get notifications about the progress of your esignature request.