Thanks to advancements in healthcare technology and telehealth’s accessibility, patients are more connected than ever to their providers and healthcare resources. This increase in connection and communication between patients and providers is the foundation of patient engagement — which research indicates can improve patient outcomes.
Ways to Use Patient Engagement Software
What is patient engagement?
Patient engagement is a patient’s general health literacy level and active participation in their ongoing medical care. Patients “engaged” in their own care are more likely to independently seek out information about their health, make healthy choices, and experience better overall patient outcomes.
Patient engagement is all about equipping patients with the knowledge and tools they need to take proactive steps to improve and protect their health. Medical codes and records can often confuse or alienate patients without medical training, so breaking information into palatable, actionable segments is critical. When patients know where they stand — and trust their providers’ guidance — they are more likely to follow through with their care plans.
How can technology play a part?
In years past, a patient’s opportunity to connect with their provider was generally limited to when they met face-to-face. During business hours, patients could try calling their provider in urgent scenarios. This reactive and limited approach could help patients navigate acute attacks or provide high-level guidance for patients navigating chronic illnesses — but that wasn’t always enough.
Patient expectations for communication have expanded alongside the proliferation of websites, smartphones, and patient portals. Incorporating technology into patient care plans has made ongoing care and consistent communication easier and more effective than ever before.
Patients feel they are getting a better return on their investment when they can participate in and contribute to their own care plan. Practices that do not actively pursue patient engagement risk losing patients to other providers that put the knowledge and tools for better health in patients’ hands.
Benchmark PM patient engagement features can help
Benchmark Solutions’ full suite of healthcare technology solutions keeps patients engaged at every stage of the care cycle — from scheduling to symptom tracking to billing. Below, find some Benchmark PM features driving patient engagement in 2023.
Self-scheduling gives patients a sense of involvement as they are empowered to choose the best option for their schedule without relying on a third-party scheduler to select a time. Benchmark PM can incorporate self-scheduling so patients can have a better view of when their provider is available. For less technically savvy patients, more traditional scheduling by staff is still an option.
With Benchmark PM, providers can configure customizable appointment reminders to automatically text or email patients, according to their preference, days before their appointment. Having more notice and time to reassess their availability can help the patient avoid accidental no-shows or same-day cancellation fees, meaning patients are more likely to show up for appointments and continue their care.
Built-in billing platform
Benchmark PM’s electronic billing system can automatically import billing codes from the practice’s EHR, or administrators can manually enter codes, make changes, and issue claims. Benchmark Pay’s integration with OpenEdge allows patients to pay bills in full or in installments. Online bill pay with itemized medical bills mitigates patient apprehension toward unexpected healthcare costs and fees — making them less likely to avoid routine and preventive care appointments and more likely to stay on track toward their healthcare goals.
With online intakes, patients can contribute to their patient profile by describing symptoms in their own words with as much detail as they desire. Empowering the patient to describe their symptoms and needs helps them feel heard and understood. With this patient profile available before the appointment, providers can appear more informed about patients’ needs when they meet.
Benchmark PM is software designed to engage patients at every step in their journey. Having patient information available practice-wide with a user-friendly interface means more staff can work with patients on their questions or concerns. Effective patient engagement means patients, providers, and practice staff experience better patient outcomes and greater patient satisfaction.