According to recent survey by CHIME and a leading IT consulting firm, fifty-two percent of healthcare CIOs say that implementing patient engagement technology is a top priority for 2021. This includes digital, automated engagement. This is partly due to increased demand by patients to interact digitally with health systems, particularly via SMS, as well as concerns about gaps in care that have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Automated Engagement Goes Beyond Appointment Management
Many health systems invest in automated engagement solutions to relieve the workload on staff that results from manual appointment management. They also want to improve the patient experience, so patients are more likely to remain engaged throughout their health journey.
For organizations seeking to improve patient interaction and drive efficiency, expanding automation, beyond appointment reminders, is critical. For example, your organization might consider automating patient education for those with chronic conditions like asthma, or to prepare individuals for procedures requiring specific prep, such as a colonoscopy. You might also choose to automate the referral management process.
More frequent interactions can have a positive impact on patient care and a health system’s bottom line. Active patient engagement increases patient care adherence, reduces lost revenue associated with canceled procedures due to bad prep, and increases closure rates for specialist referrals.
What Other Engagement Can Be Automated?
First, identify the high-impact, high-value workflows that you currently conduct manually. Then evaluate the amount of time and resources they cost your organization and their potential impact on quality and patient care. Among routine actions (like processing calls from your call center to reschedule appointments or handling patient requests for prescription refills), determine which patient engagement activities are top priorities for automation.
Next, based on your health system’s unique needs and approach to patient engagement, begin researching technology solutions that can address these specific workflows.
- Weigh the value of a single platform over multiple point solutions. Rather than retraining staff members on new programs or technology for appointments, procedure preparation, and even follow-up patient satisfaction communication, look for a technology partner that offers all-in-one systems that are customizable and meet your organization’s needs.
- Maximize your existing IT investments. You already rely on your electronic health record (EHR) system to document patient care. An efficient engagement platform should leverage the EHR technology as the single source of truth, and “live within” the EHR without the need for complex, manual file uploads or data sharing.
- Open the door to true, two-way engagement. Choose a patient engagement solution that facilitates two-way, closed-loop communication. This enhances the patient experience and captures patient responses directly to the EHR. Look for a platform that enables your organization to connect with patients when they want, how they want (via text, email, voice calls, or live chat), and in their preferred language.
To learn more about how health systems are engaging with patients efficiently and effectively while automating processes that save time and improve revenue, read our latest e-book.