A friend of mine recently had some tests done at a major medical center near us. (Everything came back negative, thank goodness!) When she told me about it, though, she didn’t say anything about the testing process itself. Instead, she raved about the hospital’s digital engagement.
“Before I even got home, I had a text about the results,” she said. “I can log into the app, make my payment, see my test results, and get a message to my doctor, who responds within three or four hours. Everything about it is just smooth and easy.”
She says this hospital will now be her first choice for her future medical needs, instead of one she’d previously used for years.
It’s no wonder that so many health system CIOs make patient engagement their top priority. If you share that priority, please join me for A Positive First Impression: 3 Proven Patient Engagement Strategies—a free, 30-minute webinar on November 18.
Patients want better digital engagement
More than half of CIOs surveyed in Stoltenberg Consulting’s most recent Health IT Industry Outlook Survey named “patient engagement” the industry’s top priority for the year.
“Whereas healthcare organizations may have previously gone through the motions of patient engagement enablement for value-based care incentives,” said CEO Sheri Stoltenberg, “the pandemic’s dramatic shift to remote care and true digital health advancement has forever transformed consumer-driven patient expectations toward taking a more active, yet convenient role in their own care journeys.”
Other research bears this idea out. A study from PYMNTS and Rectangle Health revealed that “More than 65 percent of younger consumers…said they’d be willing to switch to providers that offer digital healthcare management options.”
Many patients got their first experience with digital health care during the pandemic—and they liked it. Now, they want the same digital experience with healthcare that they get from retail, hospitality, banking, and nearly every other industry.
But you know this. The real question is: What’s your main barrier to delivering it?
What does better digital engagement look like?
“Digital patient engagement” is, of course, a topic we could write volumes about, and it will look different for every health system. But it’s fair to say every successful digital healthcare experience shares most of the same characteristics:
- It keeps patient information confidential and secure.
- It integrates with the health system’s EHR.
- It’s built on eSignature capabilities to eliminate the need for paper forms.
- It incorporates text messages—patients’ preferred communication method.
- It gives patients an intuitive, user-friendly experience.
That last point is hard to quantify but easy to recognize. When patients are comfortable in your digital ecosystem, you’ll see strong, steadily growing usage metrics. And when patients aren’t comfortable, you’ll hear about it!
Our upcoming webinar examines three ways your health system or hospital can help patients get comfortable with your digital ecosystem—starting with an improved patient intake experience.
Your digital front door sets the stage
One of the best ways to improve patient engagement is to start from the first moment of contact, with seamless, stress-free, digital patient intake.
A robust, user-friendly digital front door that meets all your patient’s needs and expectations—and which, by the way, also frees up your staff for enhanced patient care—would include:
- Digital intake forms that come straight to their phones via text
- Forms with all their information pre-populated from your EHR
- Remote check-in before they even enter the building
- Seamless payment processing options
- A complete, personalized user experience
A positive intake experience sets the stage for patients to come back to their portals in the future. If their experience continues to be positive, they’ll come to rely on your system as their first and main point of contact with your entire organization.
That’s the kind of engagement they crave—and that CIOs everywhere name their top priority.
Start making it happen. Join me for A Positive First Impression: 3 Proven Patient Engagement Strategies on November 18.
About the Author:
Dessiree Paoli is a senior solution manager at Interlace Health, a company that transforms workflows by providing clinicians and patients with digital healthcare solutions. She has more than 18 years of experience in driving strategic marketing initiatives, leading teams, and developing integrated campaigns, and she has worked in healthcare for more than 12 years.