With healthcare deductibles on the rise, patients are aware they have to utilize their medical savings or pay from their pockets for any medical care. This brings a change in mindsets and a requirement for patient engagement in the healthcare industry. Medical care has become more and more expensive with time, which pushes patients to shop around for the optimal facility and price. As patients themselves are out trying to find the best, it’s evident that their engagement is higher than it ever was.
The approach is consumer-centric, where it is important for the healthcare industry to clarify procedures and the importance of medical care to patients. Patient engagement strategies should be employed in the industry to attract more patients, and optimize the Revenue Cycle Management of your facility.
Ways to Improve Patient Engagement in Healthcare
- Emphasize Patients’ Financial Education
Patients prefer to know what to expect financially when they make a visit to the doctor. Ensuring everything is kept transparent and expenses are apparent to them before they meet with the on-call physician, can make them feel comfortable in choosing your healthcare facility. You may train your medical staff to brief the patients on insurance and billing procedures. Your healthcare facility must maintain transparency as to how much patients will owe after the visit, and offer financial assistance to those who may not be able to afford care.
- Digital Payments
Making digital payments can make everything more convenient for patients. This would help them manage their daily expenses and make better decisions. Digital payments also provide the option to make payments in installments, which can offer further convenience.
If your healthcare facility has patient portals, this would allow them to make appointments, reschedule visits, make payments, or directly contact the provider for any concerns. Digitizing your process would also assist in maintaining records, as everything would be saved at the portal.
Maintaining your invoices and Medical Billing services on multiple online and digital channels will emphasize transparency. This communication would ensure you’re not misleading patients and minimize the chance of them forgetting to make payments.
- Maintaining records for Patient Preferences
Maintaining software and digitizing your processes is as important as the information stored in the system. Having multiple platforms to communicate with the patients might also make them want to opt-out of a few channels. To remain HIPAA compliant and respect their privacy, it’s essential to maintain their preference in the record. Many patients prefer digitizing their bills, while some still want their bills to arrive in the mailbox.
Making sure you jot down your patient’s preferences in the health system, assures them that you understand them. This convinces you to choose your healthcare facility for care.
- Give Options
Since patients are shopping around in the healthcare industry to choose the best care, you should offer treatment plans and options to give them variety. This will give your facility a competitive edge and help you retain patients.
With all the technology, tools, and plans under one roof, patients will not invest time in shopping around. If your facility is providing them with ease, they need the ease at a competitive price, and patients will look no further.
Some patients prefer face-to-face visits, and some would take up online appointments with the physician. In any case, a smooth system in place is necessary to conduct operations and provide options to patients.
- Preventative Care to reduce expenses
It’s safe to invest capital to spread awareness of preventative care among patients. This can significantly reduce expenses and hospital admissions, while medical staff and facilities can be utilized in dire cases.
If patients understand the significance of handling chronic symptoms with regular care, it could prevent long-term consequences and enhance their health.
How does patient engagement generate revenue?
Patients who remain engaged, and comfortable and witness transparency at the hands of their providers, tend to entrust their care more. They are likely to schedule more appointments and communicate openly with the physician. This would mean consistent income and a good reputation for the healthcare provider.
Encouraging and strategizing patient engagements can result in increased visits, high patient referrals, and good feedback from patients.
For physicians and doctors onboard, this would mean they could provide better care and aim for enhanced and disciplined results in treatment. Providing various treatment and financial options saves patients and their families from depression and other additional problems.
In a nutshell, in this day and age, it’s preferred to make patients feel as involved as possible. With inflation reaching new heights, it’s important to build a healthcare organization that truly cares.