As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, the way providers communicate and engage with patients is changing too. Patients are becoming more interested in taking control of their health, which includes being able to access their health information from virtually anywhere. As a result, patients have become more interested in using technology in ways that can help increase accuracy of information while reducing the burden on practices. This is becoming a win-win scenario. Medical clinics can reduce cost and labor by adopting new technologies, which patients are naturally proficient at using. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of these technologies to engage patients in new ways. This is resulting in some of the most reliable and up to date information the industry has ever seen.
Below are the top 5 patient engagement tools we have seen being used by our clients throughout 2021. While these tools will never replace in-person communication with medical professionals, we expect that they will continue to be used to increase patient engagement for years to come.
With a telehealth solution, practices will be able to offer virtual healthcare services to clients, like one-to-one and group video and messaging appointments, and securely share files and forms with patients. Practices can digitize the patient onboarding journey to boost acquisition from intake and informed consent, pre-appointment device testing, and automatic payment information.
2. Text Check-In
Providing the option to check-in via text message allows patients to check-in away from the front desk, reducing physical contact between patients and office staff. Text check-in messages and instructions can be customized by practice, providing flexibility in the process. By streamlining the intake process, practices can reduce patient wait times and increase time available for staff members to complete other administrative tasks.
3. Appointment Reminders and Follow Ups
Appointment Reminders can be sent via text message directly from EHR systems, allowing patients to confirm or decline appointments without a phone call. Because patients are very responsive to text messages, this helps reduce no-shows. Practices can also utilize Appointment Follow Ups to send information after the visit is complete. The automation of texting and email allows practices to engage patients both pre and post visit, providing a well-rounded experience.
4. Patient Portal
The Patient Portal allows patients to communicate securely with their doctor and provide important health and contact information. During the visit, doctors can upload resources to educate their patients by sending directly through the portal, leading to a more informed patient who can access information from virtually anywhere. In addition, the Patient Portal can display patient charges, allow payment via credit card, post money to practice account, and automatically update the patient’s ledger.
5. Questionnaires and Consent Forms
Consent forms can be assigned both manually and through the appointment schedule. Patients can then accept or decline the forms through their patient portal. Questionnaires are customizable and allow practices to collect information such as COVID-19 and depression screenings, satisfaction surveys, and more. Both forms and questionnaires can be sent prior to a patient’s visit to reduce input by nursing staff, allowing them to verify information provides rather than ask each question. This saves time for both patients and office staff while increasing efficiency at the practice.
These tools have been instrumental in engaging patients since the start of the pandemic and are here to stay. As technology continues to advance and patients continue to take a greater interest in their health, we can expect more patient engagement tools to emerge for years to come.
For more information on patient engagement tools available at Criterions, click here or complete the form below.