Patient communication is a critical piece of any effective care plan. Research shows that care plan adherence goes up when patients receive clear communications. For example, a 2021 study found that communication interventions at discharge were significantly associated with fewer readmissions, higher treatment adherence, and higher patient satisfaction. Patient engagement solutions offer the technology to make it possible to interact with patients remotely and stay engaged pre, during and post-visit.
The core of any patient engagement solution is its outreach capabilities to connect providers, staff, and patients. A robust solution will tie into existing collaboration technologies and integrate directly with EHRs to support centralized communications and access to patient data. Message automation, including appointment reminders, increases efficiency by reducing repetition for staff.
Buyer Considerations for Patient Engagement
Ask the following six questions to determine if the patient engagement solution has the necessary elements to help your organization keep care teams and patients connected throughout the entire care journey.
Readmission rates drop when care teams are aligned, and patients (and their caretakers) receive clear communications. Make sure the solution you choose includes multiple options for patient outreach – video, voice, or text – and can be used to virtually connect with patients and family members.
Patient engagement should be simple. Requiring patients to download an app or remember a password gets in the way of that. Choose a solution that allows patients to communicate with their care team within the browser. An SMS-delivered link keeps conversations secure and improves adoption.
Often patients miss their appointments simply because they forgot they had one scheduled. Missed patient appointments can delay care for patients in need of critical follow-up care and can also lead to additional administrative work for your staff. Automating reminders – with capabilities to attach pre-visit instructions – reduces manual follow-up work for staff and increases the likelihood that patients will arrive for their scheduled visit.
Positive patient-care team interactions require two-way communication. Choose a solution that provides a secure messaging channel for patient-initiated outreach. Staff can spend less time fielding phone calls and more time focused on delivering quality care when general inquiries, appointment scheduling, and medication questions can be easily routed and quickly addressed.
Remote check-in allows patients to notify providers that they have arrived for their appointment while waiting from the comfort of their vehicle. Especially in light of the pandemic, this vital feature keeps patients out of waiting rooms to prevent congestion and reduce the spread of illnesses. Virtual preliminary intake and form collection also streamline the check-in process and shorten the duration of close contact interactions.
The ability to maintain up-to-date patient information that’s accessible from a single endpoint is critical. Verify that the vendor you are considering can integrate with any EHR and automatically pull in patient and broadcast lists and appointment data, allowing for quick, automated, and informed outreach.
Bottom line – partner with a patient engagement solution that brings patients into the conversation through a single, easy-to-use application. TigerConnect Patient Engagement is a single, mobile-friendly communication platform that lets doctors, nurses, and clinical support staff connect seamlessly within the health system and with patients.
Download the Patient Engagement Buyer Comparison Checklist. This all-in-one checklist includes key features, competitive comparisons, and a glossary to inform your purchase decision.
Christoph Becker, MD; Samuel Zumbrunn, BMed; Katharina Beck, Ph.D., et al. Interventions to Improve Communication at Hospital Discharge and Rates of Readmission. JAMA Network Open. August 27, 2021, doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.19346