The importance of patient engagement is becoming more evident as healthcare reform takes shape in the US. A recent article in Business Week cited a number of examples where hospitals had engaged in activities that were not aligned with patient care.
One example involved an effort by several different hospitals to conduct online surveys. The survey was meant to inform hospitals about new policies they might be adopting.
However, the results were not particularly informative, because the online surveys were designed to elicit general information and were not designed to offer insight into what the hospitals needed to change. In fact, the survey did not address any specific concerns and could not even be used to make recommendations.
In a paper from the National Council on Quality Assurance (NCQA), the author noted that hospital leaders should take a step back and consider what they are really trying to accomplish. Why are they engaging in activities that may not help them achieve their objectives?
For example, it is important to consider whether the survey is actually being conducted in response to a particular concern of patients, or is it just a way to collect information. If the intent is to inform patients, then any surveys that do not provide insight into specific needs should be discounted.
If the purpose is to collect data, then the surveys should be carefully designed. Finally, if the goal is to increase customer satisfaction, then the survey should offer insights into how the company can improve customer service and respond to the needs of its customers. If the survey does not provide insight into the reason for engaging in an activity, then the company should be careful not to engage in such an activity.
It is important for hospitals to think about what is not acceptable in terms of patient engagement, which can be done through services like Relatient. If the focus of a hospital is to ensure that patients receive high-quality care and are satisfied with the medical institution, then engaging in activities that don’t benefit the health care provider is not likely to provide many benefits to patients.
On the other hand, if the focus of the hospital is to increase revenue and the hospital is interested in increasing profit, then engaging in activities that provide insight into what patients need and why the hospital would like to provide those services may provide them are a good idea.
In this article, we’ll take a brief look at some of the most important things to remember when developing patient engagement strategies.
1. Focus on the Patient
It has been said that patient engagement should be redefined to better suit the patients. Patient engagement is critical in any practice that requires the participation of patients. A patient engagement strategy should be designed around the needs of the patient and the interests and values of the patient’s care team.
Patient satisfaction, for example, often has little or no direct impact on the clinical practice, yet it can influence a patient’s overall experience with a clinic and the physician’s own personal care. As a result, a health care provider who does not understand the importance of patient engagement needs to take time to learn about the process and implement patient satisfaction programs.
2. Patient Satisfaction
One of the most important aspects of patient engagement is the opportunity to engage the patient. Patient satisfaction programs are one way to accomplish this goal. By taking a close look at the habits of the patients who have previously visited your practice, you can get a sense of how much time they spend at the office and how they are receiving medical care. The information gathered from the visits can be used as the basis for designing an effective patient satisfaction program.
One good idea is to ask the patients to rate their practice based on their overall experience. When the patients complete the survey, you can then review the responses and adjust your patient satisfaction programs accordingly. This approach may not be suitable for all patients, but it certainly can work if you use it correctly.
Another important component of a patient satisfaction program is providing the opportunity to give timely feedback about the care they received. By asking patients to fill out a brief form detailing their general feelings about your practice, you will be able to provide feedback on how well the care provided by the physicians and staff is going. You can also include information about the types of services offered.
3. A Coordinated Plan
Life sciences corporations are increasing patient-services offerings and treatment-related products and services for patients, including home health care visits and nebulizers. However, most healthcare providers aren’t making a full commitment to patient engagement or taking on more of the responsibility for delivering care through this model.
There are many reasons why healthcare providers don’t use this new approach. Some worry about the cost, some feel they aren’t equipped to handle the patient-services aspect of patient engagement, and others are simply unwilling to take on the new responsibilities of delivering care.
Developing a coordinated care plan should include services tailored to a patient’s needs at the moment, as well as what they need as they progress through their illness and recovery. A coordinated care plan also includes services that address the patient’s specific medical challenges. The plan should also have services that address specific concerns of patients, including immunizations.
These programs and practices should also include information and resources that will help you keep your patients safe from predators and the risk of abuse. These resources include educating patients about how to get free consent forms for health tests and information on how to obtain consent forms for medication if needed.
They also provide patients with resources and contact information for safety and legal concerns. Also, they educate patients on where to go for information on patient rights and how to make sure that your patients receive quality care from your practice.
4. Communicate Effectively
You can’t improve patient engagement without improving your communication. Employees should have some type of training on patient communication so that they are able to engage patients more effectively in the process. You should also provide an open forum for discussion among employees and patients alike, and provide literature that can help patients understand what you are talking about.
Doctors should talk to patients without overly relying on jargon or using sarcasm. They should talk in a friendly tone and explain the problem in detail and answer any questions they may have.
Additionally, it is important to listen to what patients say and make sure that you convey the message they are trying to get across in a way that does not negatively affect them. This can be done by repeating words back to them, taking notes, or looking over the materials they provide for reference.
Doctors also need to ensure that they keep any explanations as simple as possible. It is not uncommon for doctors to spend a lot of time explaining procedures or medication when talking to patients. The key is to focus on what is really important for them and make the information easier to digest for laymen.
It also means that your patients will be able to give informed consent to different methods of treatment that doctors at your practice suggest or prescribe. This also will cultivate a relationship based on trust and transparency and produce a more comfortable patient-doctor relationship, which will help with the patient’s confidence about coming to the next visit.
You should be able to keep your patients as informed as possible, even when they are not at your practice. This means that you should have an online resource that you can use to educate the patient. Make sure that your website is easy to navigate and that your phone number and email address are readily available.
5. Utilize Technology
Life sciences companies have been moving patient-focused technologies into hospitals to improve the patient care experience. It’s becoming more important than ever to offer patients a personal touch with their medical professionals. With personalized, one-on-one appointments, more patients are willing to consider more comfortable, mobile, or convenient settings in outpatient clinics or other practices.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, patient engagement also includes providing personalized information. As technology has advanced, many patients are now able to get access to information that would not have been as easily accessible to them years ago, such as images and videos and detailed results from diagnostics. This enables them to make more informed decisions about their treatment options and choose the best approach.
They are also able to keep track of their medical history and have conversations with nurses about their health care needs and concerns. Patients who want to learn about the latest developments in their own health can now do so on the go with the help of mobile apps and website tools. These types of resources give patients more choices for engaging with their health care provider.
Many health care providers are also realizing the need to improve the customer service experience they provide. Technology helps patients feel more connected with their health care providers and allows them to communicate more efficiently with them.
With personalized, one-to-one services, more patients are willing to stay in the office longer and ask questions. When patients feel more comfortable in the care setting, they are more likely to return, making the office environment more productive and profitable.
6. Keep the Patients Engaged
Patient engagement is one of the key aspects of improving the quality and efficiency of health care. The best practices to keep patients engaged in their care, whether they are receiving a primary or specialized care appointment, are not necessarily the ones that have the flashiest facilities or the latest equipment. Instead, the most successful practices are those that give their patients a sense of urgency about receiving the care that they need and want.
One of the best practices to keep patients engaged in ensuring that they receive personalized care. When a doctor gives the impression that a patient is an inconvenience or a time-suck, patients may begin to feel like they are a second priority. Even when they do see a doctor, they will still feel like they are not important to the patient’s care and treatment. Patients are much more likely to engage when they know that their doctor cares about their individual needs.
Patients should also feel empowered to talk about their concerns with their medical care providers. When they feel as though they can reach out for help, even if it means calling in sick or leaving work early, they will be more likely to be interested in their care and treatment.
Medical staff members are responsible for making sure that patients get the care they need, but they should also feel encouraged to do so. This is why it is important for doctors to have patient input when it comes to their service and how they communicate with their patients. Patient engagement can be a key component in improving the overall efficiency of the health care system.
Patient engagement is the process of engaging your patients and giving them a voice. Patients are more easily understood by a professional, and they feel as though their concerns are heard and acknowledged.
It also allows the doctor to build a relationship with them which in turn creates a better health care environment for everyone involved. In a patient-centered approach to medical practice, the doctors communicate clearly, listen carefully, and engage patients on an ongoing basis.
In the end, there is a course that must be taken with patient engagement, but the main concern is communicating effectively and thoroughly with the patient to ensure they understand what they are being told. As long as there is that level of trust between the patient and the doctor, then there will be a successful dynamic that lasts.