7 Ways to Increase Patient Engagement

Patient engagement is more than just a Meaningful Use requirement – it’s a long-term strategy for improving healthcare. But for many providers, the key to actually increasing patient engagement is a mystery. How do you empower patients? How do you ensure they become true care partners?

We did some research and put together these 7 steps for increasing patient engagement. Work on a few (or all!) of these, and you’re guaranteed to see a difference in your patients.

1. Give patients access to their medical records online.

It makes sense. If patients have better access to their medical records, they’re better equipped to manage their health. It can be a huge project for providers, but it’s worth it in the long-run.

  • 57% of patients say they’d be more engaged in the personal healthcare if they had online access to their medical records
  • 41% of patients who can’t access their medical records online would consider switching physicians to get access

2. Cultivate an email list.

Many doctors skip email in favor of old-fashioned phone communication. But patients are starting to prefer email for the flexibility. A solid email list is an invaluable tool for practice marketing, appointment reminders, sharing updates on your patient portal, and sending out important health information.

  • 93% of adults would prefer a doctors who offers email communication, even if they had to pay $25 per interaction
  • 84% of baby boomers use the internet to research medications and medical conditions

3. Recommend mHealth apps.

There are tons of helpful mHealth apps out there that your patients will love. Visit iMedicalapps.com to get clinically-vetted app recommendations.

  • 96% of patients believe mHealth apps will help improve their care
  • 30% of patients currently use apps to monitor their health conditions
  • 9/10 patients say they would use an app prescribed by their physician

4. Offer virtual doctor visits.

A majority of patients are now open to telemedicine. Offering virtual care is a great way to both strengthen your practice’s profitability and stay connected to your patients.

  • 75% of patients who haven’t used telemedicine were interested in doing a virtual visit in place of an in-person one

5. Get mobile-compatible.

Most Americans live out our daily lives with our phones in hand. Take advantage of that. Make your practice website mobile-compatible. Create an app for your practice. Send out appointment reminders and other notifications via text.

  • 64% of American adults own a smartphone
  • Smartphone adoption even among low-income adults is high

6. Build your online presence

Patients are more likely to be engaged when they trust you and can interact with your “brand,” even when you’re not around! Cultivating your reputation online through review sites, blogs, and social media can help build your presence.

7. Use tech to get seniors engaged too!

Plenty of seniors adopting technology to manage their health, usually to help manage one or multiple chronic conditions. Don’t just assume your older patients aren’t tech-savvy enough to get engaged online.

  • 84% of baby boomers use the internet to research medications and medical conditions
  • 57% of surveyed seniors wanted to interact with their providers and manage their health online

Ready to get started? Always remember to get your staff onboard, and put together a solid patient engagement framework for your practice for long-term change. And of course, include your patients in the discussion. Ask them what would help the get more engaged in their care.

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