The idea of patient engagement software is not a new term in the healthcare industry. Without doubt, it is an essential factor for the long-term progression of your practice or organization.
Patient-centered care simply means building and investing for a strong relationship with your patients. Practitioners that are espousing for knowledge relative to patient care, are always on the run for asserting patient engagement efforts according to the type of patient.
However, the subjective interpersonal nature of patient engagement has given rise to numerous conflicting myths.
Since, there is no singular method for relationship-building, healthcare experts have made up different strategies leading to misinformation. Myths that can provoke clinicians into taking incorrect action, yielding limited patient engagement, and missed opportunities.
While it is equally important for physicians to be mindful of the implication of various engagement efforts, they should not limit themselves for the inaccurate preconceived notions.
Myth: patient portals are only for young patients
Many providers suffer from this misconception that older patients do not use online patient portal platforms. According to research 67% of Americans aged 65 and older have said that accessing medical information is ‘very’ or ‘somewhat important’ for them. 83% of senior people think that they must have full access to EHRs integrated with patient portal software, although only 28% do.
In an AMA study, patients over 65 adopted portals at a rate greater than patients aged 18-35. The use of internet use over the years has also tripled for 65 and older and doubled among 50 to 64 years old.
Another statistical research published in 2016 by athenaResearch indicates that senior patients utilize patient portals software at an equal rate to their younger counterparts.
Although patient portal software is deemed an essential piece of technology for patient engagement, providers suffer from the misconception that only younger patients want to adopt the tools.
“If you look at patients in their 60s and up to 65, a lot of those patients are still in the workforce. They’ve had iPhones for 10 years since they were in their mid-50s,”
“A lot of those patients are comfortable with using technology. A patient portal may be a new approach to working with their physicians in a way that they didn’t do before, but patients are comfortable getting online, they’re comfortable using their phones to get on a portal, or using a computer,” – athenaResearch manager David Clain.
Debunking the myth, patient portals are just as popular among older populations as they are with younger populations. Nearly 30 percent of patients over the age of 65 have adopted the tools of patient engagement.
Myth: sharing medical information adds to the workload
Giving access to health records such as, lab results and progress notes does not mean providers will have to handle an influx of inquiries.
Instead, they report increased efficiency and appreciation for being able to respond to patients at their convenience. Evaluation studies have found that telephone volume decreases when secured messaging is applied. Studies also report that communication content of patient messages tends to be appropriate, addressing non-urgent care issues.
Portal features are cost savings by decreasing indirect and direct labor costs, such as mailing costs for lab results, online billing questions versus telephone, online appointment scheduling, and online appointment reminders.
Keep in mind that best practices suggest educating patients about when and how to use secure messaging, and to provide a brief explanation when posting test results along with guidance for any follow-up.
Myth: technology replaces human empathy
Patient care is improved by implementing telehealth solutions to your clinical care. Many people believe that the empathy factor that they get from an in-person session is diminished by involving technology.
However, for a provider empathy coming either from two different ends is never any different. Patient engagement and empathy are increased two fold if the provider is more reachable.
With the help of integrated digital health tools, providers connect with the patients more frequently. Even the cost that comes from a simple doctor’s visit can be eliminated with telehealth solutions. Allowing teams to check in on patients in between visits.
A communication channel is easily accessible and streamlined with stored medical data and history also give providers to treat patients more comprehensively.
Myth: patient engagement is not scalable
Another of the biggest misconceptions about patient engagement is that it is not scalable.
The fact is that care teams can reach more patients with digital health tools. The scalability factor can also be applied to a lot of applications and mobile devices. Relying on a single metric to measure patient engagement must not be applied. A multifactorial system can be used to monitor patient engagement with an actionable approach and is well connected to the mutual patient and healthcare professional goals. With the help of telehealth solutions, clinicians can reach more patients more often reminding them of upcoming appointments, providing lab results, scheduling annual exams, and much more.
Benefits of Implying Patient Engagement in your Practice
There are range of benefits for practicing patient engagement including:
Patients will report better comprehensive customer care satisfaction once they are satisfied with your clinical care devoting more time and resources to engage with them. Giving them all the required information needed to make better informed healthcare decisions. Not only this, having access to a personal online patient portal software gives customers a sense of reliability – receiving more time, consideration, and services.
A practice that is fully engaged with patients works more efficiently, from setting up follow-up visits as a matter of course to using the patient portal for faster and easier communication.
A system that enables patients to enter data on their own automatically reduces a lot of workload, allowing your administration to work more efficiently. Better patient engagement leads to improved recovery, reduced hospitalizations, and lower cost of care.
Encouraging patients to stay rooted to your organization by boosting patient engagement care, through regular checkups and follow-up visits. This will automatically boost your bottom line.
Because you have finished reading this blog post, you are determined to optimize your clinical care by implementing patient engagement.
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