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5 Patient Engagement Trends Any Practice Can Adopt

Discover ways to help maintain patient engagement, while focusing on healthcare outcomes

As patient engagement trends evolve, physicians and practice managers may be looking for new ways to improve patient satisfaction.

It may be helpful to recognize recent shifts in how patients participate in their own care. Widespread adoption of the internet has led to a rise in digital health services and solutions. Patient expectations can influence their selection of providers and overall engagement during episodes of care.1

Your patient engagement strategy can address these demands with the use of digital solutions, like automated patient messaging, patient portals and price estimators. Read on to learn more or download our ModMed® 2022 Patient Experience Report: What Patients Really Think.

1. Digitizing the Patient Journey

Across the patient journey, there may be multiple touch points with medical professionals, including your practice, other providers, pharmacies and labs. It can be a lot for patients, especially when they aren’t feeling well. Digitization can make the patient journey easier for everyone. For example, streamlined workflows can benefit providers, while more effective communication can benefit both patients and providers.

At your practice, software solutions like our specialty-specific EHR and other solutions (Practice Management, ModMed Pay, etc.) can help make it easier for providers to set the stage for patient engagement. Our EHR is designed to help speed up your workflow and help you document faster. The patient data you input during visits syncs with your ModMed Practice Management and billing solutions.

90% of patients place importance on providers’ using the latest technology.2

There is another major benefit to digitizing in-office patient experiences. Automation and data syncing can help make it easier to manage your practice as a whole, even across multiple locations with several providers. Here are a few ways this can improve patient engagement:

  • Automated check-ins and checkouts can be used to reduce the administrative burden on front desk staff, which may allow patients to be processed faster.
  • With the ability to track patient wait times, you can resolve bottlenecks, so patients are engaged throughout each visit.
  • Online or automated follow-up communication for scheduling and billing can be addressed by patients when they choose.
  • Digital health information is easier to share with other providers, reducing manual effort.

Digitization can empower you to redirect your focus more fully on the patient, instead of grinding to get through visits. It can allow you to provide more genuine patient-centered care in an era when people can feel pressured for time and focus.

From the patient’s perspective, digital engagement strategies may feel more natural and aligned with how some people live now. Patient touch points become dynamic, updating as information changes so that patients can access up-to-date information from their devices. In the office, digitization can give patients peace of mind around communication, recordkeeping and billing because digital tools put them in control.

2. Automated Communication

Each patient communication takes time and effort and is not always successful. By automating communication, you may create efficiencies for your staff and patients, who no longer need to catch or return phone calls during limited business hours.

Some of the ways you can automate outreach throughout the patient journey include:

  • Previsit and postvisit care instructions
  • Appointment reminders
  • Rescheduling reminders after missed appointments
  • Follow-up engagement to check for questions
  • Patient experience surveys and feedback requests

48% of patients prefer email, text or online portals over phone calls2

At the edge of innovation, patient engagement systems are developing advanced ways to route messages from patients to the appropriate care team. Automation can help reduce response times by eliminating the back-and-forth of getting patients to the right place manually. Solutions like these also allow you to centralize patient communication into one thread as you communicate with the patient at different touch points in their journeys:

  • Website conversions become conversations, turning initial inquiries into in-depth patient engagement that multiple staff can follow.
  • Text messaging can feel natural to patients, and staff can be tagged in conversation threads and directed as needed.
  • Call-to-text transfers let patients on hold make a selection to move into text message communication flows.

When patients feel like they can communicate conveniently, it can be easier for you and your staff to maintain engagement and focus on healthcare outcomes.

3. Gamification and Wearable Devices

Smartphone applications (apps) and wearable devices are connecting individuals with the larger healthcare ecosystem and their individual health goals. For example, an app might help patients keep track of medication schedules with a series of notifications, points or badges to encourage them to maintain consistency.

Many people are already familiar with smartwatches that feature fitness trackers or support other wellness plans. These wearable devices can do things like identify irregular heartbeats or alert medical services to accidents.

This trend mirrors patterns we see in industries outside of healthcare, where individuals become immersed in gaming for entertainment or work in virtual reality spaces that look like first-person video games.

In an increasingly fast-paced, remote world, gamification and wearables can be a critical way to maintain patient engagement.

4. Easy Billing Experiences

Patients may expect price transparency, contactless payment options and payment plans when necessary.

ModMed offers several patient payment options, like text to pay, online quick pay, Patient Portal payments, ModMed Kiosk payments and autopay.

Additionally, price estimation tools let staff generate quotes for upcoming procedures and may help kick-start conversations with patients around cost.

When patients know how much they have to pay and when they have to pay it, that can encourage them to attend follow-up visits, take medications on time, follow orders and engage in extended treatments. Without this information, fear of high bills may discourage them from continuing care.

5. Activate your patient engagement strategy

For more patient engagement insights, read our ModMed 2022 Patient Experience Report: What Patients Really Think. 

You’ll learn more about practice characteristics that may attract and retain patients, what types of connections matter to patients and which digital tools they prefer.

Ready to learn more about what patients want? Download the report now.

1. Bertalan Meskó and Dave deBronkart, “Patient Design: The Importance of Including Patients in Designing Health Care,” Journal of Medical Internet Research,  Vol. 24, No. 8 (2022 August).

2. See survey questions 8 and 15 in the Appendix of the ModMed 2022 Patient Experience Report: What Patients Really Think. Data reflected is a combined stat of “very important” and “somewhat important” or “very likely” and “somewhat likely” to the generally used terms “important” or “likely,” respectively.

This blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or medical advice. Please consult with your legal counsel and other qualified advisors to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations and standards.