Higher patient-engagement means higher-quality customer care for hospitals and specialty clinics the world over, but what can your clinic do to ensure that patients are closely following their plans of care and doing what's best for their health after they've walked out your doors?
Read on for five engagement tactics to help lower your clinic costs and achieve better patient outcomes.
In a specialty hospital or clinic setting, patients have a tendency to feel like just another number—a single patient in a larger medical system. While this may not be the case for every clinic, it's important to be aware that each patient wants to feel unique, and the more specific you can be about a patient's medical situation, the greater responsibility they will take for their own health.
According to the Center for Health Care Strategies, nearly 36 percent of adults in the United States have low health literacy, with disproportionate rates found among lower-income Americans. Bearing this fact in mind, it's easy to understand the importance of patience when it comes to explaining patient care. If a patient has low health literacy, taking a bit more time to explain their situation to them in terms they understand may be all you need to do to foster greater patient engagement.
People make mistakes, and your patients are no different. It can be easy for patients to fall of of their care plans if they don't have regular touch-points with their healthcare providers. As a clinic, you can keep in contact with your patients to ensure that they are diligently following physician instructions and to see if they have any questions.
Despite physicians' general disdain for websites like WebMD and the medical misinterpretations that come from these sites, patients with this level of interest in their health are much more likely to take active roles in their recoveries. Getting patients involved in their healthcare processes through strategic goal-setting is an excellent way to promote higher patient engagement.
Accountability is a huge part of maintaining any serious program. By tracking patient progress and informing them when they have failed to meet one of their healthcare goals, clinics can build a structure that expects patient engagement instead of merely requesting it—which may be all the push some people need to follow through on their specific care plans. For key insights into your patient experience, check out our blog, 4 Key Takeaways You Should Get From Your Patient Surveys.
At the end of the day, every patient is different, and there's no singular solution that will totally solve any clinic's patient-engagement issues. However, by taking a few steps to ensure patient follow-through, clinics can save time and provide their patients with the best possible care.