Patient engagement is the preparedness, capability and willingness of patients to actively manage their health care. It involves close association and active involvement between patients and healthcare providers for better health management and thus the need to design more efficient healthcare systems.
Advancement in technology is the biggest contributing factor to patient engagement.
As per Pew research center, 63 percent of adult cell owners use Internet via their phones, 69percent browse fitness and health articles through Internet, 35percent adults access Internet to identify medical conditions while 39percent adults are care providers for their families. This highlights the growing importance of patient engagement for medical practices. Having a well designed and user friendly patient portal helps increase patient engagement. Well informed patient's means more accurate information that directly contributes to efficient Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) and higher claim settlements.
When you engage a patient in your practice you are more likely to get patients who adhere to their medical plans and medications mostly, are more satisfied and have higher quality of life scores. It also encourages their participation in decision-making. It increases the patient's willingness to explore and follow wellness programs thereby contributing to a healthy national population. It also increases patients' willingness to provide feedbacks for improving medical processes like billing and claim settlement.
Patient engagement can reduce the number of clinic/hospital visitations when they are aware of and can interact with the online portals for getting answers to common Questions and queries. Physicians thus can handle more critical cases in their day-to-day practice. When practices focus on patient engagement, patients are more likely to use the healthcare provider's portals for doing online prescription refill requests, appointment bookings, freeing up the manual efforts of responding via phone lines, contributing to ROI.
Patients actively involved in their treatment also help saves costs when they are adept at accessing online portals for their medical lab results, bills and insurance settlements instead of relying on postal services where service providers need to mail these records. Patient engagement is vital as it can be detrimental to engage in long term management of life threatening diseases as a well informed patient is highly likely to use technology for follow-ups, regular Checkups and remote monitoring, resulting in lesser no-shows. More engaged patients are less likely to use emergency services and opt for preventive care needing less hospitalization.
Highly effective patient engagement also helps physicians have access to more accurate and current data as such patients use technology to constantly update their health status. This helps in giving accurate prescriptions and results. It also means happier and healthier patients. When medical practitioners spend more time with patients they are highly likely to follow life improvement suggestions. A comfortable well informed patient directly contributes to your practices' ROI as they rely more on the current chosen medical line of treatment and also the physician.
One of the significant highlights of patient engagement is pain management. Communicating appropriately and in a timely fashion with patients in pain improves their quality of life and thus brings in patient satisfaction.