One of the goals of healthcare development is better patient engagement. Medicine can no longer afford to be impersonal and limited to the physician’s domain. We must engage the patient in his/her own recovery and better health. The most effective tools in achieving patient engagement come from IT patient management systems.
What is patient engagement?
Patient engagement is getting patients to be engaged in their own health and recovery, to encourage them in taking interest in their wellbeing and be an active participant in health programs. There are many benefits to instituting a robust system of patient engagement for health organizations and the community at large. But the most significant benefits are towards the patients themselves.
More and more patient management systems are now focusing on improving patient engagement through various tools. We know that the only way we can improve wider adaption is by making our apps and digital tools more relevant to the people in general. No wonder then that digital platforms that are actively engaged in encouraging self-health management are the ones that have done the best — from wearable tech to EHR.
Benefits of patient engagement:
Encouraging patient participation: Every healthcare program is designed to encourage patient participation, be it vaccination or blood donation. But actually getting them to participate is always a challenge. With patient engagement systems, we can achieve this with the active involvement of the patient. Tools like wearable tech have ensured that people are tracking their own health without any outside influence. Having a stake in their own wellbeing has a dramatic impact on their health.
Improving patient satisfaction: When patients are engaged in their own health and can track their progress, it automatically increases patient satisfaction. Patient management systems also make medical care and billing more transparent. Patients can see the results of their tests, see how diagnosis changes. They can see how the billing is done. This improves patient satisfaction in the standard of care and process.
Reducing costs: Patient engagement does not benefit the patient alone. There are tangible financial benefits for the organization as well. An engaged patient takes more interest in his/her care through patient management systems and is less likely to be dissatisfied enough to bring in lawsuits. No-shows are reduced and the overall cost of managing one’s health is also brought down. Many of the systems devised for better patient management also cut down on the unnecessary red tape that takes up organizational time and creates unnecessary hold-ups.
Improved quality: The quality of any product increases when the consumer has a direct say in its execution. This applies to healthcare as well. When we give patients more control and say in how their healthcare is delivered, they start demanding better quality, accountability, and administration. The result is that we see a steady and definite improvement in healthcare delivery.
Some common patient engagement systems are:
Healthcare management systems are some of the most powerful and effective tools we have for better patient engagement — they range from simple scheduling solutions to the mammoth EHR systems. Form small details to macro health management, digital healthcare solutions today straddle every sphere and improve patient engagement.
Scheduling: This is the first step in engaging your patients — allowing them to set up appointments through an easy to navigate digital interface. They pick a doctor and schedule an appointment at a time of their convenience without going through the red-tape. One can also pay for their treatment at the same time. Scheduling tech is sometimes combined with reminders where patients are automatically reminded of appointments, refilling medicines and annual check-ups.
Follow-up: There is software that tracks the patient’s follow-up, providing the patient with follow-up care and information. This is meant to ensure that healthcare is effective and that the patients understand their own health concerns. A number of platforms today allow the patients to follow-up on their own health and keep a track of their progress.
EHR: This is the mother of all patient management systems where we track a patients’ health throughout their medical interactions. It collates all their medical data — from lab results to insurance — at one ready to access platform. The advantage of EHR is to combines all medical data, giving the patients the most comprehensive picture of their health, allowing them to track their own progress.