Patient Engagement Solution

Today, patient-centered care has become the focal point in the healthcare space. Patients are readily making decisions in their care journey, and to help this, healthcare organizations have to invest in tools that can boost patient engagement. Here’s where a digital patient engagement software can make staff and patient interactions meaningful, timely, and convenient.  

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What does a patient engagement software offer?

Digital patient engagement includes multiple tools for healthcare organizations to build engagement between the practice and patients. From appointment scheduling, secure messaging, automated reminders, broadcast messaging, to one-on-one chat, explore options that can add value to your practice.

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Appointment self-scheduling

How it works: Patients can schedule an appointment online with their preferred provider. They can view available slots and choose a suitable time. Also features like waitlisting and rescheduling can simplify the appointment scheduling process. On the other hand, practices can set up AI-driven workflows that consider provider schedules to offer the best-suited option to patients.

What value it brings: According to a 2022 survey, booking a physician appointment takes an average of 26 days. Call waiting and the inability to schedule an appointment beyond office hours are the major pain points for patients. With self-scheduling, patients can book an appointment whenever they want, from wherever they want. Practices can see benefits in terms of time-savings, improved efficiency, and better schedule management. 

Automated appointment reminders

How it works: With automated appointment reminders, practices can set up a schedule to send out reminders a few days prior to the visit (for example, 3 days in advance). Also, you can make the reminders more than just informative by providing the option for patients to confirm and request for cancellation and rescheduling.

What value it brings: Instead of spending hours in phone tag, the staff can set up an automatic appointment reminder schedule. The reminders are sent out with zero manual efforts and staff intervention. This saves hours of manual work and ensures that the reminders are delivered on time. With an effective patient engagement solution such as this, practices can persuade patients to show up and ultimately lower no-show rates.

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Automated payment reminders

How it works: Similar to appointment reminders, automated payment reminders can be set for a fixed schedule. Practices can configure the interval between the reminders and the number of times it has to be sent out. On the patient side, they can use the secure link in the message to make faster payments.

What value it brings: Using this patient engagement software, practices can see benefits on two sides – reducing staff hours and improving patient convenience. A traditional payment reminder system consumes time and effort. It also becomes challenging to keep track of the messages sent out. With a flexible digital solution, practices can run all these processes on auto-pilot. For the patients, they can use the reminders to pay easily and on time.

Broadcast messaging

How it works: Practices can rely on this effective digital patient engagement solution that makes mass communication exceedingly simple. Based on a selected audience, your staff can send a custom message to patients. This can be anything from office closure announcements, new service marketing, provider unavailability, vaccine drives, and so much more.

What value it brings: Whether it is calling patients or sending out emails manually, broadcasting a message to a large patient population is time-consuming and ineffective. This digital approach helps you reach out to a large audience within minutes. You can send out time-sensitive messages without worrying about the additional burden on your staff, making it a powerful patient engagement solution.

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Secure messaging

How it works: Patient engagement in healthcare is bound by HIPAA and TCPA compliance. However, multiple secure messaging solutions provide flexible ways to communicate with patients within the regulatory boundaries. Through secure messaging, your staff can reach out to patients for everything from requesting updated insurance information, accurate contact details, and so much more. Secure messaging works for both email and text messaging.

What value it brings: Phone tag consumes most of the staff hours. And when the information is time-sensitive, using traditional communication becomes ineffective. Secure messaging helps streamline communication and ensures convenience for the staff and patients. In fact, secure chat can bridge the communication gap between practices and their patients, thereby improving patient relations.

Why does patient engagement in healthcare matter today?

Digital convenience has become the basis of most industries. Right from the ease of ordering food, clothing, and groceries to booking tickets, industries have cashed in on messaging and digital payment to simplify the consumer experience. And if healthcare has to meet the expectations of the same consumers, a digital patient engagement solution is a crucial piece in a digital front door strategy.

Here are some of the many statistics that reinforce the need to go digital with your patient engagement approach.

  • 78% of patients preferred to communicate with their healthcare providers through digital means
  • 61% of patients who used secure messaging reported feeling more connected to their healthcare provider
  • 85% of participants of a survey preferred text updates to email, phone calls, or patient portal messages

While digital patient engagement solutions meet patient expectations, they also address practice inefficiencies and bring improvements in multiple areas. Here’s the proof:

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  • According to a survey conducted by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) in 2020, about 88% of healthcare providers in ambulatory practices reported that patient communication technology has improved their practice’s efficiency
  • 30% decrease in missed appointment rates using automated reminders
  • 44% of healthcare providers reported that secure messaging has reduced phone tag and improved response times

How do you identify the right digital patient engagement solution?

There are multiple vendors that provide patient engagement solutions, making the decision-making process complicated. Below is a checklist you can refer to while evaluating and purchasing a digital patient engagement software.

1. Flexibility

Digital tools should give you the flexibility to set up patient engagement based on your practice preferences. For instance, can you set up a preferred frequency to send out reminders? Also, you may want to weave in a different reminder message for your geriatric population. Does the solution allow you to select a targeted audience to send different messaging based on appointment types? Verify the options offered and how you can work with them to suit your unique needs.

2. Customization

You know your patients better. Does the patient engagement solution allow you to customize the messaging for your reminders? For broadcast messaging, you may want to send custom emails and text messages with personalization. Can the solution address this by offering placeholders to include personalization such as name, practice logo, etc.?

3. Modular approach

Some practices like to start small and prefer not to purchase the entire bundle. Does the vendor offer this flexibility to implement one or few features? Can you scale up as and when you want?

4. Consolidated vendor

Digital patient engagement is part of a comprehensive digital front door strategy. Managing multiple vendors for patient intake, patient self-scheduling, and patient communication is expensive and ineffective. What other solutions do the vendor offer that you want to adopt currently or in the near future? Explore the vendor by considering longevity in the digital space.