Physicians require the help of their patients to successfully transform their practice to value driven care. Even by using the right technologies and care programs, medical practices such as Electronic Health Records won’t be able to bring a greater outcome without engaging their patients.
Those patients who get engaged are more likely to have a healthy lifestyle and follow good treatment guidelines. Also they are more loyal. Having engaged and loyal patients is beneficial for practices.
An engaged patient is one that:
- Understands that what the treatment will do for them
- Have a belief in the treatment and know that it will make a difference in their lives
- Know their health conditions
Patient engagement is becoming a priority as more and more of the revenue is linked to patient engagement as mentioned in the stage 2 requirements of the meaningful use.
Strategies for Patient Engagement
In order to prove the outcomes it is essential to involve the patients in their care. But where should a practice begin? There are some strategies that physician can make use of start the patient engagement efforts:
- Initiate a dialogue
You can simply come to know what patients need is by asking them. Discover what challenges are faced by the patients regarding managing their health and treatment plans. Group forums and meetings are a good way to start a dialogue with the patients and do a more open communication. Using the other online tools and secure messaging will help you keep the conversation going and will help you build a stronger relationships.
Over the last year the healthcare audience has grown over by 134 percent. Physicians can distinguish their practices by giving mobile options of accessing personal health records, lab records and condition specific information to their patients. With mobile apps it gets easier to share the information with the patients. Providing a convenient access to information can help result in a more collaborative and effective care.
- Make the Patient’s In charge
As many consumers make use of self service tools from airlines, banks and retailers. In the same way doctors can make use of these tools for the same level of control and convenience. A study carried out by Deloitte found that around 80 percent wanted to make the appointments online and 50 percent wanted the ability to access their medical records. Having the right set of self management and self service tools will help physicians make partner with patients and move forward.
- Use social media
From a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2012 revealed that around one third of patients make use of Facebook, blogs, YouTube and other healthcare related purposes. Some of ways through which physicians can increase the engagement levels are:
- Leading patients to credible resources regarding conditions
- Offer education material about health issues
- Connect patients with health issues
- Be practical
Those patients who workout, eat well and follow preventive care get much better outcomes than those who do not. Doctors can help motivate their patients to follow healthier routines and educate them about importance of evidence based recommendations. This will help prevent chronic diseases and costly procedures. Some of the ways through which physicians can connect with patients out of the traditional way and that includes health coaching, personalized plans and wellness programs.