Patient engagement and patient satisfaction are two concepts that dominate the healthcare landscape, but they’re often seen as independent of each other. However, the truth is a little more complicated. In fact, engagement and satisfaction share a symbiotic relationship, with each influencing the other.
Defining the Two Terms
We’ve tackled healthcare jargon in a previous blog, but before going any further it’s worth establishing a working definition for each of the two terms.
Patient engagement is difficult to define. As a concept, it’s capable of encompassing a broad range of methods, from online portals to patient surveys to health awareness campaigns.
However, this basic principle remains constant throughout: patients who take a greater interest in their own health are likely to experience better outcomes. Patient engagement targets this by focusing on the parts of the healthcare cycle that encourage patients to voluntarily interact with their provider.
Patient satisfaction – though highly subjective – is much easier to pin down, it’s essentially what it says on the tin. It can include how patients view their treatment and its outcomes, their perception of waiting times and accessibility, and how they felt they were treated by staff.
Obviously, it’s a somewhat flawed metric; patients don’t always know best and there is no accounting for some people’s expectations. Nonetheless, as a method of taking a rough temperature of how your patients view you it’s pretty useful. This is particularly important at a time when overall public satisfaction with the NHS is at an 8-year-low and competition-driven market logic is creeping into the public sector.
How Are Patient Engagement and Patient Satisfaction Related?
Now that we’ve defined the two terms, let’s examine how they’re related.
Firstly, there’s the obvious link. One of the major drivers behind the NHS’s pursuit of patient engagement is the tangible health benefits it can offer patients. These vary from patients being able to better recall information and administer their own treatments to improved treatment adherence and recovery times. It should go without saying that healthier, more involved patients – who properly understand their treatment – are also more likely to be satisfied patients.
The reverse is also true. It’s logical that patients who report satisfaction with their healthcare are more likely to engage with its provider. What’s more, there is plenty of research to suggest that a positive patient-doctor relationship is crucial to engagement levels. After all, if you’re satisfied with your relationship with clinical staff, you’re probably much more likely to listen to their advice and follow prescribed treatment plans.
Finally, many of the most commonly used methods of patient engagement work to actively boost patient satisfaction. For example, there’s a growing demand from patients for healthcare providers to adopt communication techniques that are more in-line with twenty-first-century living. Patient engagement tools like online portals, SMS, wearables, and healthcare awareness campaign managers do this – boosting patients’ satisfaction with their healthcare at the same time as promoting better engagement.
At Jayex, we’ve long-understood the far-reaching effects improving patient engagement can have on patient satisfaction and other aspects of patient care. The result of this is our new platform, Jayex Connect – the first tool to combine everything you need for patient engagement in a single interface. Let us show you how it works, book a demo today.Back to blog