As a healthcare provider, your top goals likely include finding ways to improve patient experiences and boost your revenue. Here’s how you can do both.
Revenue and Patient Engagement in Healthcare Today
Patient engagement and revenue go hand in hand, which means you need to keep up with changing patient attitudes if you want to protect—and improve—your bottom line. Today, there’s a much greater focus on patient-centered care models. Patients are now looking for the best healthcare experiences rather than provider- or payer-centric solutions.
Without engagement tools and strategies that offer patients more control and convenience, you risk experiencing poorer outcomes, losing patient loyalty, and hurting your chances of attracting new patients—all of which negatively affect your revenue.
Strategies to Improve Patient Engagement
#1 Offer better digital communication options
COVID-19 may be slowly improving, but its effects are here to stay, including the large shift to online healthcare delivery. While many patients have returned to in-person care, many others still expect the same level of digital convenience that healthcare organizations raced to deliver at the peak of the pandemic. By giving your patients the option to connect with you through a web portal, mobile application, or in person, you’re showing potential and current patients that you can accommodate all communication preferences.
#2 Reduce appointment no-shows
The price of no-shows and last-minute cancellations add up fast, so keeping patients engaged and willing to come to their appointments is critical. In addition to considering a more flexible cancellation policy, you might implement different digital strategies that encourage patients to show up for their scheduled appointments. For example, texting appointment reminders with a HIPAA-compliant system has shown to be an effective method of boosting patient engagement. Offering virtual visits also helps reduce no-shows as patients are more likely to show up if they don’t need to travel or take as much time away from other life commitments.
#3 Simplify the payment process
Healthcare payment processes are complex and often downright irritating, so you need to make things easier for the patients if you want to improve patient experiences and patient satisfaction. Utilizing a patient portal, for example, is one common strategy providers use to simplify the payment process. With a centralized health platform, patients get access to their billing information and payment options in one convenient location.
In addition to reducing frustrations around complicated payment processes, online billing can empower patients by placing financial responsibility in their hands. Plus, the increased level of automation allows healthcare facilities to free up staff members who may be of more value elsewhere.
#4 Educate your patients
Poor health literacy leads to low adherence to care plans, more appointment no-shows, and more readmissions, all of which can hurt your revenue in the short- and long-term. To empower your patients and give them the tools they need to get more involved in their healthcare, you need to make patient education a priority.
However, education doesn’t simply mean communicating information regarding tests, treatments, and medications during an in-person visit. For patient education to have a bigger impact on engagement and revenue rates, learning materials should ideally be readily available to patients, whether you email weekly newsletters or include resources within a patient web portal.
#5 Track patient preferences
In an increasingly patient-centered industry, digital patient engagement strategies are most effective when they align with individual preferences. For example, you might not see the full email reminders with patients that don’t pay attention to their inboxes. As part of your engagement strategy, consider using opt-out reports, surveys, and other tools that help you keep track of patient preferences and ensure no payments are missed or delayed.
Get the Digital Capabilities You Need to Engage Patients and Increase Revenue
In today’s industry, the most effective patient engagement strategies require the latest telehealth solutions. With iTether, you get a fully integrated, customizable telehealth platform that lets you create the digital pathways you need to better connect with patients, streamline workflows, and improve satisfaction for all health plan participants, from patients to payers.