J. Joseph Hickey
Vice President Sales
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Changing patient behavior is easier than you think
Engaged patients have better outcomes, but healthcare providers often struggle to find effective — and scalable — ways to empower their patients to play a role in their care.
As the number of patients grows, physicians, nurses and other care team members are more stretched for time than ever and have less time to spend on face-to-face patient care.
Patient and family communication tools give providers more opportunities to answer patient questions, send educational material and keep them engaged with their wellness plans between appointments.
Here’s what physicians and other care team members need to know about how a patient and family engagement tool can change patient behavior.
Driving healthier communities
Healthier communities help drive down the cost and waste in healthcare.
When communities are healthy, they clear out emergency departments, make it easier for individuals to access care and help hospitals avoid costly readmissions. Simple automated text messages with appointment reminders can make a huge improvement in patient show rates, regardless of the patient’s age and socioeconomic status.
For Ridgeview Rehab Specialties, automated text messages with appointment reminders, including scheduling and location details, helped the department reduce its no-show rate by 12.6% over two years, a cost savings of more than $138,000.
Inspiring patients to manage their healthcare
Consumerism in healthcare is driving some patients to be active participants, and patient engagement programs can empower even more patients to become more involved in their care. This kind of patient engagement is especially important for those who live with chronic health conditions.
Patient engagement technology can keep patients focused on their wellness between appointments. Automated provider-to-patient communications — like programmed text messages — can include questionnaires that monitor key health indicators and reminders to refill medications.
Retaining information from appointments
Exam rooms are stressful places for patients, and stress tends to make people forgetful. That’s why repetition is the key to getting patients to remember the details of a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Unsurprisingly, many hospitals and practices turn to provider-to-patient text messages to deliver highly relevant educational information.
Sending text messages with links to pages on your site, PDFs, YouTube videos and your other pieces of digital content makes it easy for patients to find and refer back to them later.
How to move forward with a patient and family communication approach
- Understand all existing patient engagement activities currently in place and assess each one’s utilization rates.
- Research the data on your existing patient engagement activities. Then, understand how to consolidate them into a single patient path.
- Gather the number of mobile phone numbers available to push information out to your existing patient population.
- Develop a rollout plan for hospitals and affiliated groups / clinics, and determine what marketing efforts you’ll need to create awareness and incentivize patient engagement.
Want more information about patient engagement tools?
Our Patient and Family Communications technology is a text-first comprehensive, flexible and secure. Our solution is proven and is live in more than 10,000 care locations, facilitating more than 42,000 patient interactions every day.