5 Strategies to Improve Patient Engagement in 2023

December 14, 2022

It’s well known that when patients feel actively engaged by their medical providers, they’re more likely to make more informed decisions and experience better health outcomes. Yet many medical practices are unsure of how to improve patient engagement and may be losing clients to competitors as a result.

Patient engagement helps build trusting relationships between patients and physicians, reduces overall healthcare costs, and improves long-term well-being. Proactively engaging patients is also a key component of delivering value-based care. Unlike traditional fee-for-service reimbursement models, value-based care is patient-centric and provides reimbursements based on the quality of care delivered over quantity. 

One way that medical practices can improve patient engagement is by prioritizing the patient experience at every communication touch point. Streamlined scheduling, transparent billing, and minimal in-office wait times are all practical ways to put the patient’s needs first.

Best Practices to Improve Patient Engagement in 2023

Automate Multi-Channel Appointment Reminders

Patient no-show appointments cost healthcare organizations roughly $150 billion dollars annually, according to Health Management Technology. That’s around $200 of lost income per every unbooked physician time slot.

Reminding patients about their upcoming appointment is key to reducing no-shows, but hiring administrators to manually call each patient can be time-consuming and expensive. Instead of settling for picking up the phone, invest in practice management software that enables automated emails and texts. Distributing appointment reminders via multiple channels makes patients more likely to receive the notice, and be able to reschedule appointments in advance.

Provide Timely Follow-Ups

It’s as simple as sending a quick direct message through your patient portal, but personalized provider follow-ups can dramatically improve patient engagement and clinical outcomes. One study showed that 4 in 10 patients misunderstand or ignore aftercare instructions. Checking in on patients between appointments and scheduling follow-ups helps improve medication adherence and helps patients take a more involved role in their own health.

Educate Patients with Readily Available Resources

Tired of your patients Googling about their health and symptoms, or scouring online forums and social media for medical expertise? Become their go-to source for credible health information. Provide your patients with digital education libraries and leave-behind materials to help dispel misinformation and keep your patients informed.

Integrate Telehealth, Remote Patient Monitoring, and Wearables

Nearly half of patients prefer telehealth over in-office visits, according to a Healthcare IT News survey. Virtual visits are convenient for both patients and providers and help patients overcome barriers to accessing high-quality medical care. Incorporating telehealth can help improve patient engagement by enabling them to meet providers from the comfort of their homes while also reducing appointment no-shows. 

Along similar lines, remote patient monitoring allows patients and providers to work together to keep track of biometric data and manage chronic conditions. Wearable healthcare devices enable medical teams to gather valuable health data between office visits.

Optimize and Promote Digital Patient Portals

User-friendly patient portals allow patients to quickly access their latest lab results, see health trends over time, complete forms, order prescription refills, ask their doctor questions, and check for upcoming appointments – without picking up the phone. Patient portals also come in handy when delivering seasonal reminders, such as flu shot messages, or promoting upcoming educational events.

But an effective patient portal is only helpful if patients are encouraged to use it. Make sure to promote your patient portal at every opportunity.

Take your patient engagement to the next level with Benchmark Systems technologies

Benchmark Systems’ suite of practice management, electronic health record, remote patient monitoring, and revenue cycle management solutions are completely interoperable and fine-tuned to save medical practices time, optimize workflows, and maximize reimbursements.