The subject of patient engagement is a common one. In theory, it clearly makes sense. Involve patients more and not only will they be more satisfied, but healthcare as a whole will see a greater return, which will have a greater impact on patients’ lives. Yet, how, exactly, patient engagement does this remains a little ambiguous. What really happens when patient engagement strategies are not only discussed, but wholly implemented?
Patient Engagement Matches the Right Provider with the Right Patient.
While, of course, matching the right provider with the right patient has always been a constant goal that healthcare professionals strive for, it is now being brought to the next level. At MedStar Health, in particular, hospital administration is verifying that patients’ specialists are, in fact, specialists in regards to their respective patients’ illnesses. Put simply, a patient with a knee injury should not be seeing an Orthopedist who specializes in shoulder ailments. According to MedStar, they are working with technology firm, Kyruus, in order to eliminate these sort of inefficient patient-doctor relationships and to streamline the process.
Healthcare will Account for Lifestyle Needs.
Perhaps the largest component of the concept of patient engagement is the idea that the relationship between healthcare professionals and patients should extend far beyond the confines of the doctor’s office. In this regard, transportation plays a role of incredible importance.
That’s why many healthcare organizations are now partnering with ridesharing apps like Uber. By making sure patients get to where they need to go, and on-time at that, they are able to provide better, more comprehensive, more effective care to both high-risk patients and patients in less vulnerable circumstances. Just as well, healthcare organizations are better able to coordinate logistics, like increasing available parking or decreasing wait times for example.
Healthcare is Available Everywhere
When organizations institute wholehearted patient engagement strategies, they also tend to make healthcare incredibly available no matter where you are. Smart messaging platforms, ride-sharing services, and facilitated pharmaceutical orders all combine to deliver a much more accessible patient experience.
Not to mention, the telehealth sector of healthcare is increasing exponentially in this regard. New services like video conference providers, for example, are able to connect patients with healthcare professionals from the comfort of their very own home. This is particularly well-suited for follow-up appointments, where the issue is not necessarily urgent but certainly no less significant. According to Dennis McWilliams, the president of Apollo Endosurgery, telehealth services increases convenience because it removes many barriers involved in getting the patient to the doctor’s office.
Moving forward, it is very exciting to see what patient engagement will materialize as next. Only time will tell, but it appears healthcare is improving for the better.