August 24, 2015

Five Tips to a Successful Patient Engagement Strategy

Kris Gösser
Kris Gösser

Datica Alumni — Former Chief Marketing Officer

Healthcare enterprises are striving to achieve the “triple threat of patient engagement”:

  • Enhance the patient care experience (quality and gratification)
  • Improve the general population health
  • Minimize cost of care

However, these goals cannot be met, or even neared, without a properly implemented patient engagement strategy.

Here are 5 tips we believe are key factors in developing a prosperous strategy for any healthcare entity:

1. There is no “One Size Fits All” Patient Engagement Solution

The new age of healthcare primarily focuses on patient engagement as a way to reduce costs. Practically everyone in the industry agrees that patient engagement is important, yet there is no consistent solution. Engagement paragons cannot be treated as “one size fits all” solutions but instead must cover a broader scale of needs tailored towards the segmented needs of the populace.

2. Recognize Vital Metrics to Continually Gauge ROI

Patient engagement solutions and their larger financial initiatives should always be understood to maximize on the ROI based on certain factors, such as:

  • Progressive Care Outcomes
  • Efficiency Reserve Savings
  • Revenue generated from evading further surgical services
  • Non-monetary gains — increased patient satisfaction, employee engagement, etc.
  • Greater Patient and Provider Education

3. Timing is Everything

Patients and the general populace fail to remember everything. It has been shown that patients only retain near 20% of information provided and 50% of that is remembered erroneously. Engage your patients at the right time through the proper channels by feeding modest amounts of information to avoid overwhelming patients. Step-by-step documented care plans are a great option to implement into your strategy.

4. Confirm Compliance with HIPAA and Meaningful Use

When deciding upon a solution to implement, it is essential that providers meet and comply with HIPAA standards. And since most patient portal technologies are new, entities fail to understand the implications behind non-compliance, especially in relation to secure messaging or data storage. Do thorough research on the new Meaningful Use guidelines and ensure your technology providers are in adherence.

5. Scalable Solutions that Close Gaps in Healthcare

When a subset of the populace is identified in care, messages must be delivered to the patients to notify them of the gap in care and how to provide next steps to close this gap. Based on patient preferences, notifications can be channeled through emails, texts, patient portals, phone calls, etc. All notifications should have a clear call to action and link back to a website or provide a phone number to reach the physician’s office. It should be made clear what a patient’s next steps are. Tools must allow for automation and high-volume interventions to reach patients in the most time-efficient and cost-effective manner.

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