In today’s health care industry, the term “patient engagement” can refer to anything and everything ranging from face-to-face time with the patient to the use of online patient portals. And while technology is not the only piece of the patient engagement puzzle, it can play a significant role in improving patient outcomes and meeting Meaningful Use criteria.
Despite the proliferation and advancement of healthcare technology, patient engagement rates still lag behind. In fact, only 25% of patients who have the option of using a “Patient Portal” to interact with physicians and their practices actually do so.
Why Is Patient Engagement So Important?
Patient engagement is now moving from the “nice to have” status to a government-mandated element of a practice’s daily operations. Stage 2 and Stage 3 Meaningful Use directives include regulations governing patient engagement because:
Patient Engagement Benefits the Health of the Patient
With the growth of cloud-based applications and technology, the key to patient engagement is continual availability. Keep in mind that the future of patient engagement is complete integration of health apps and technology—being able to combine data from fitness apps on mobile phones to daily weight measurement could create real-time patient health records, ultimately moving us from a health care industry that manages illness to one that manages wellness.
Communication is key
Patient portal software offers patients continual access to their health records and test results. The more that a patient is involved with their health status, the more likely they are to make an investment in improving or maintaining their health.
Patient Engagement Decreases Physician Liability Risks
The more that a physician communicates with a patient, the less potential liability he or she faces. Keeping accurate records via patient portals and other health care technologies reduces the possibility of errors of omission, which limits the risk of incorrect diagnoses for doctors, or errors in communication with patients.
The more your patient knows, the better.
Lawsuits in which physicians are charged for negligence are often the direct result of a lack of communication between the doctor and patient, or poorly kept records. Patient portal software can help practices maintain accurate records and keep your patients informed on appointments and test results.
Choosing Effective Patient Engagement Software
Patient portal technology is rapidly improving and the potential to benefit patients and doctors alike. Despite these advances, thousands of Americans continue to die from medical errors—most often caused by errors in communication—each year.
Patient portals are one way to share diagnoses and test results with patients, but they are infrequently used, and most software systems don’t provide doctors with a way of knowing if the patient received the information or not.
Clearly, patient portals alone are not enough.
The SecuReach Medical Notification System offers physicians a way to securely communicate patient test results, appointment reminders, and other important information through a private mailbox that is only accessible by the patient.
This unique system notifies patients by phone that they have a message waiting in their own personal HIPAA compliant and secure voicemail box, and continues to send reminders until the patient listens to the message.
Not only does this provide patients with a quick and easy way to stay informed about their health, SecuReach also offers physicians and practices protection from liability. Because the system maintains records on which patients listened to their messages, doctors have viable proof of clear communication.
Saving time, saving money.
Many practices have to play “phone tag” with their patients for long periods of time just to give the patient some information. SecuReach eliminates this problem. Using the SecuReach Medical Notification System for patient engagement improves workflow, and ultimately cuts down on provider costs and improves patient satisfaction. Doctors who have chosen SecuReach saw a 10% decrease in follow-up time, saving them thousands of dollars.
Choose SecuReach for Improved Patient Engagement
Ready to learn more about how SecuReach can improve patient engagement rates and help your practice meet Meaningful Use objectives? Contact the Medical Consultants Group in Atlanta at 404-272-4883, or reach out to our team via our online contact form.