Patient engagement has become a popular buzzword in healthcare circles even as a recent HIMSS survey saw 72% of healthcare participants, identifying patient engagement, satisfaction and quality of care as some of the needy issues facing their organizations. By definition, patient engagement is the empowerment of patients to be both willing and able to participate in their own care by cooperating in positive health behaviors.
When patients become engaged in their well-being and care, there is a perceptible sharing of responsibility for the cure between the practitioner and the patient, relieving the practitioner from taking it all entirely upon himself. Patient engagement brings along with it a positive outcome, improved patient healthcare and lower costs.
Four reasons how patient engagement can be beneficial:
Engaged patients lower costs
Today, both payers and providers are shifting to accountable business models, so how a practitioner manages the patient’s time outside the clinic assumes importance. For better results with the patient, he would need to encourage patient engagement at home as against in-clinic visits, thus moving towards value-based care.
The modern patient embraces technology
Patient engagement and technology must go hand-in-hand in today’s physical therapy world. IT and physical therapy software is entering the healthcare practice like any other basic service where we are seeing personalization, real-time notifications, 24/7 access, interactivity, device accessibility, integration between our most frequently used applications, and this impact is influencing the expectation the modern patients bring to the clinic. If practitioners are not technology-oriented they will lose out on patients looking to switch to practices offering more modern tools. An example of technological brilliance is Apollo Practice Management’s physical therapy scheduling software which eliminates appointment scheduling delays caused by manual schedule registers or standalone desktop scheduling software.
Engaged patients get well faster
Patients who get actively involved in their care achieve better outcomes that those who leave it entirely to the practitioner. When a physical therapy practice makes it easier for patients to be engaged in their health at home the outcome is very positive for the patient.
Engaged patients recommend your service
Nothing works better than word of mouth for your business to prosper. Engaged patients are satisfied patients and they are more than likely to talk about your great practice to a friend or a family member in need of physical therapy. On an average customer tell 9 people about your business after a positive customer experience. Implementing service initiatives like maximizing personalization, remote access to care plans, patient education resources, and corporately celebrating patient success are easy but powerful ways to prevent negative customer experiences, something that providers cannot afford to compromise on in the age of exploding consumerization and patient choice.
Physical therapy providers to stay ahead in their profession must pay attention not only to the imperatives imposed by payers and federal regulations but also to those made obligatory by the modern patient who embraces reform for value. Patient engagement is a great place to start.