What is patient engagement software?
A patient engagement solution is a cloud-based system that allows healthcare providers to optimize the patient experience. Sophisticated patient engagement software deeply engages patients during every step of their patient journey, from scheduling to triage to follow-up.
According to a study by the Commonwealth Fund, "The U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other [developed] country but ranks last on almost all dimensions of performance." This is because the United States has some of the lowest patient engagement rates in the world.
A sophisticated patient engagement system uses Artificial Intelligence to automate, streamline, and scale the patient engagement efforts of healthcare organizations. In an era of catastrophic staffing shortages, maximizing patient engagement, via innovative digital technology, is crucial.
The best patient engagement software enhances patient care, improves the patient-doctor relationship, strengthens patient loyalty, and results in better health outcomes.
Key components of leading-edge patient engagement solutions include:
Key features of a patient engagement software solution
- Patient portal and appointment management: A patient portal is a digital interface where patients can manage their own health affairs—including online scheduling. A well-designed patient portal allows patients to self-schedule their appointments at their own convenience.
- Patient education: The patient engagement platform gives patients comprehensive digital access to the latest health news, preventive medicine information, Covid-19 updates, and more. Links to these educational resources are automatically sent to patients on their mobile devices.
- Digital medical billing: Patients have online access, with 100% price transparency, to detailed information about their healthcare bills and medical expenses.
- AI-powered patient outreach: Links to online appointment scheduling, automated appointment reminders, and other important messages are automatically sent to patients on their mobile devices.
- Holistic provider-patient communication: The patient engagement software has a secure messaging system—one that allows patients and medical staff to privately and quickly communicate—and this patient communication platform is integrated with SMS, email, and phone.
- Physician comparison: Holistic patient engagement solutions offer online reviews of practices and physicians. The patient engagement software automatically sends patients post-appointment surveys, which allows medical practices to continuously improve their care.
- Accessible patient data: The patient engagement software gives patients detailed information about their own health: electronic health records, lab results, health history, and more.
- Painless patient registration: New patient forms and other materials are readily available to patients online. They don't need to fill out any paperwork nor call anyone nor download an app.
Combined, these patient engagement tools reap tremendous benefits for both providers and patients:
Benefits of a patient engagement solution for patients
- Control of their own health affairs: Everyone likes being in control—especially when it comes to their health—which for most people is the most important component of their lives.
Holistic patient engagement solutions empower patients to self-manage all facets of their healthcare—appointment scheduling, communication, access to health records—which means happier and healthier patients.
- Informed patients: Thanks to the patient education tools afforded by patient engagement software, individual patients and patient groups can be made aware of crucial health information—local disease outbreaks, preventive medicine, diet studies—in real-time via AI-automation. This not only improves patient engagement; it also results in better health outcomes for entire subsets of people.
- Better clinical outcomes: Engaged patients are healthier patients. It's as simple as that. Many patients avoid seeking care because of the exhausting complexity of the American healthcare sector. As such, consistently and thoroughly engaging patients, at every step of their journey, gets them more involved in their own care—and thus more likely to get the health service they need when they need it. The result: better outcomes.
- Gratifying patient experience: Patients who are engaged during every step of their journey are far more likely to be happy with the care they receive.
Benefits of a patient engagement solution for healthcare organizations
- Patient satisfaction and patient retention: Healthcare organizations that tirelessly engage patients, through multiple channels and with robust outreach, create loyal patients and happy patients.
When patients are engaged in their care, they are:
- More likely to stay with their current provider.
- More likely to leave positive reviews.
- Less likely to miss appointments.
- Patient acquisition: Patient engagement campaigns and patient portals (portals that offer self-service appointment scheduling) attract new patients. Patients want to partner with providers who empower them to self-manage their care.
- A stronger patient-provider relationship: The cloud-based, holistic, and frictionless patient-provider communications afforded by patient engagement systems strengthens the patient-provider relationship. Patients are more likely to trust their provider; patients are more likely to schedule appointments; patients are more likely to remain loyal.
Engaging patients at every step of their journey is the single best way for medical practices to stop patient leakage.
- Dynamic practice management: Sophisticated patient engagement software integrates with practice management systems. This means remarkably smooth and efficient workflows—which in turn reduces overhead expenses.
- 100% scheduling utilization: An AI-powered patient engagement platform sends patients automated appointment reminders and rescheduling links, which reduce the number of missed appointments, late arrivals, and cancellations. The result: maximized revenue and happy physicians.
- Comprehensive communication: Among the most fruitful benefits of patient engagement software is the optimization of communications—both between patients and between medical staff members.
A patient engagement solution enables constant communication through multiple channels—text, email, phone—so that medical professionals can connect with each other and with patients at any time.
With automated patient messaging, patients can be engaged both before and after stressful and important appointments like surgery. Care Desk, for instance, automatically sends notifications and reminders to patients in the moments that matter.
- Physician satisfaction: Patient engagement software doesn't just help support staff. Physicians are also happier because they have a consistent and full schedule—with fewer irksome no-shows. Even better, the patients whom doctors do see are perfectly matched to the doctor's preferences.
- Seamless care coordination among different providers: A cutting-edge patient engagement software solution creates a robust communication system for healthcare professionals in all corners of the industry. They can use the software to conduct complex care coordination, even tasks involving multiple doctors and multiple time-frames.
- Assured patient safety: AI-powered patient engagement means patients receive first-rate care at every step of their journey. Deeply engaged patients, who are educated and committed thanks to automated and targeted outreach, are patients who are safe and secure at all times.
Can patient engagement technology integrate with my practice management software?
Many providers are hesitant to invest in patient engagement technology because they believe it won't integrate effectively with their current practice management software.
But many patient engagement solutions, including Keona Health, can successfully integrate with practice management software. In fact, integrating a patient engagement solution with a practice management system creates a powerful and dynamic telehealth machine.
There are several ways to build patient engagement automation into a patient management platform, but the most effective method, by far, is healthcare CRM software, which uses AI to carry out targeted engagement—without the need to replace the practice management system.
The best patient engagement software vendors
The best patient engagement solutions conduct robust patient engagement, across multiple channels, via AI-automation. These patient engagement platforms are able to acutely engage patients during every step of their journey.
In our next blog, we’ll take a deeper dive into the best patient engagement software vendors. Until then, keep telehealthing!