For all the specialized knowledge and expertise doctors bring, medicine is a collaboration between them and their patients. Unless a patient is truly engaged with the care he or she receives, there’s only so much a physician can accomplish. Fortunately, technology has made it much easier and more convenient for patients to interact with their doctors and participate in their medical care. This can only be a good thing, because patients who are actively involved in their treatment plans are more likely to receive the best outcomes.
It isn’t hard to see how the internet and smart devices have changed the way patients engage with their healthcare. According to recent surveys, nearly 75% of people book their medical appointments online at one time or another, while nearly half of all patients have used the internet to find a physician. This means that if your practice isn’t using this technology to its fullest potential, you won’t be getting the patient engagement you want.
One of the greatest drivers for engagement with patient is communication, and technology gives you plenty of opportunities to stay in touch. For example, offering telehealth appointments can be a great way to offer reassurance for patients who may be too busy to schedule an office visit or otherwise incapable of a face-to-face meeting. Providing patients with an online portal where they can make appointments and review their medical information is another step in the right direction.
Ensuring patients stick to their medication regimen becomes much easier if you make use of a smartphone app. This will send notifications directly to the patient when it’s time to take a dose or refill the prescription, making it much less likely he or she will forget. Sending out email or text reminders with tips to make lifestyle improvements or reminders for upcoming appointments is another relatively simple step your practice can take that can have a significant impact on patient engagement.
If your patients are occasionally uncooperative, there’s very little headway you can make when it comes to improving their health. For this reason, anything you can do to enhance the level of engagement they have with their treatment will be a positive development. If you want to learn more about ways you can drive greater engagement among your patient base, take a look at the accompanying resource.