Five tips for your patient engagement strategy

“Engage your patient.” So important. So many different ways to approach it. Consumerism in healthcare is on a steep climb, yet due to a lack of clarity as to the best approach to patient engagement, many organizations offer a less-than-ideal, far-from-comprehensive strategy to tackle the initiative. Patients are no longer satisfied with a healthcare experience that is riddled with inefficiencies and shrouded in mystery. And baby steps won’t work. Effective patient engagement strategies impact all areas of your organization, and they all must be addressed simultaneously. Consider these five areas:

1. Build your strategy on a mobile platform

Today’s consumer relies on mobile technology for everything from shopping to banking, but healthcare organizations have lagged other industries in reaching the patient with mobile solutions. As more innovative organizations deliver patient engagement strategies using mobile technology, consumers will begin to choose providers based on the ease in communicating with them. The proliferation of mobile platforms in healthcare will transform the consumer experience and drive changes in consumer behavior.  

2. Tackle financials early and often

Consumers have more financial responsibility for their healthcare than ever before and are now the nation’s second largest payer. It’s a rapid and dramatic shift, and healthcare organizations can effectively address the challenge through their patient engagement strategy. Consumers want more transparency with regard to the prices of healthcare services, need to understand their responsibility, and  welcome the convenience of paying their portion on a mobile device.

3. Embrace mobile clinical innovations

From the habitually healthy to the chronically ill, consumers are more knowledgeable about and actively involved in and their own health status than ever. This trend continues to grow and healthcare organizations must understand and address it. Clinical outcomes can improve by pointing patients to clinical resources that align with your organization, and encouraging them to think about their health and do their own research between visits. Your patient engagement strategy also must embrace advances in virtual care and telehealth.

4. Keep administrative needs at the forefront

Many of your organization’s most repeatable tasks deliver the most salient benefits from your patient engagement strategy. And patients embrace these administrative solutions readily. From appointment scheduling to requesting prescription refills to general office communications, a mobile platform improves patient relations while reducing time spent by your office staff. The number of patients that expect mobile solutions for administrative services will continue to grow, and healthcare organizations can use this trend as a competitive differentiator.    

5. Always drive patients to the mobile front door

Identifying the right mobile solutions for patient engagement is an ongoing challenge for healthcare organizations, and it’s not as straightforward as it should be. Tried-and-true technology vendors are not always the ones that have the best solutions. Often it’s new vendors, making the challenge of identifying and sourcing these vendors time-consuming and risky. Commonwealth Health Advisors helps healthcare organizations develop a comprehensive patient engagement strategy and execute it.