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How physicians can improve patient engagement using technology

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How physicians can improve patient engagement using technology

Patients, these days, weigh their healthcare options as they weigh their investment options. Through patient engagement, practitioners and hospitals can build a trusted relationship with their patients.

But before we delve into the use of technology for patient engagement, let’s understand what actually patient engagement is.

What is Patient Engagement?

Patient engagement is nothing but the active participation of patients in their treatment through interactions with their Physician and information sharing. It requires the patients to be well-informed about their health issues and treatment process.

Patients who are invested in their treatments are more likely act in accordance with treatment protocols, and to deduce problems at an early stage, often resulting in faster recoveries.

Technologies to improve Patient Engagement:

Some of the areas where patient physician relationships can be made better through technology are: Patient Portals, Online Calendars, Video Calls, Email and Messaging Platforms, Apps and Wearable Devices.

Patient Portals: Online profiles can be created for each patient. Both doctors and patients can access the profiles and review the health records of patients.

Online Calendars: Online calendars can help patients book and remember their appointments effortlessly.

Email and Messaging Platforms: Emails can be used to communicate with patients about general information. When it comes to confidential information, secure messaging platforms can be used.

 Video Calls: Video conferencing platforms are extremely helpful to patients and practitioners. It allows practitioners to check patients and diagnose illnesses in real-time without the need for either patients or medical personnel to travel. HIPAA compliant software platforms ensure security and privacy.

Apps: Apps help patients keep track of their health care initiatives. Both third party and custom apps can be used to help patients keep in touch with their health activities. 

Wearable Devices:  Smart watches that are wearable by patients can be used to keep track of patients’ health in real time.

What is physician patient engagement software?

Put simply, patient engagement software is an electronic system that is designed to interact with patients and handle the patient-physician relationship, which is typically integrated with the Physician practice management software. Such software includes features like appointments, front office, prescriptions, billing, EHR, and so on.

Patient engagement software offers an active and collaborative patient-doctor relationship, improving the overall patient experience.

Choosing the right patient engagement software:

Patients prefer interacting with hospitals through digital channels rather than communicating with staff at a personal level.

Here are 5 ways physicians can improve patient engagement using technology:

Appointment Booking: The right patient engagement software must enable online booking of appointments. Healthcare institutions are quite busy which makes it difficult for staff to attend phone calls. Even patients appreciate the option of choosing their timings by seeing for themselves, the time slots that are engaged and free.

Online Payment Options: Online banking makes the payment process much easier than making payments at the billing counters. Besides, the software must reveal the medical cost incurred, insurance coverage, and paid and unpaid medical expenses to the patients.

Appointment Records: The patient engagement software must help both doctors and patients maintain a record of appointments, therapies, consultations, and prescriptions. The software must be able to save doctor’s notes to patients’ portal for the personal review of the patients.

Prescription Refill Requests: The software must help patients request a refill when the prescription is about to be over. A reminder to the patient during the day to take medicines on time would also be good.

Phone Apps: The software must be accessible through mobile phones. Secure mobile apps are greatly appreciated and widely used with ease. Thereby, the patients can engage with their records from any place and time.

Benefits of patient engagement for physicians:

  • Prompt communication with patients helps physicians diagnose and solve patient issues.
  • The workload of physicians / or their office is reduced because of automated appointments and messaging services.
    The interaction between physicians and patients is secure.
  • Technology helps physicians connect with patients on time.
  • Overall physicians can retain their patients better.

Benefits of patient engagement for patients:

1. Access to health-care on time.
2. Access to medical reports anytime.

3. Secure mode of communication.
4. Awareness of treatment methods.
5. Possibility of viewing their health information online, as well as downloading and transmitting the info if necessary.
6. CLIA (Clinical laboratory Improvement Amendments) gives patients direct access to their lab results.  

The future of patient engagement

Thanks to advancements in technology, patient engagement solutions will become one of the most distinctive factors for healthcare providers to keep patients informed, healthy and empowered. Engaged patients who are enabled to play an active role in their overall healthcare and healing processes are also more likely stay with their physician.

Now when you choose a Practice Management software, make sure it has the necessary features you need to enhance patient engagement and help you interact with patients on important issues and retain your patients.

 

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