Patient engagement is a big deal for modern healthcare.
To recap, patient engagement means helping people get more hands-on with their healthcare, through new technology, educational campaigns, and more. This isn’t just good for well-being – there are business benefits too, like lower admin costs and better patient satisfaction scores.
But engaging patients isn’t a one-sided affair. You can’t push services and information onto them and cross your fingers that it works. To provide the best healthcare possible, you need their input and feedback.
You’ve got to find out what they really think.
Why Patient Engagement Hinges on Understanding People
Patients are the best people to consult on how to develop your healthcare experience. They’re the ones experiencing it first-hand, after all. Hearing their honest impressions will help you discover what you’re doing right, and what you need to fix.
This isn’t just about learning individual opinions. Collecting feedback also keeps you one step ahead of wider trends. You can discover patterns, see where patients are having common issues, and pinpoint which types of patients are experiencing them. Maybe lots of people feel like they’re waiting too long for appointments. Or perhaps people with reduced mobility struggle to access some of your facilities. You’ll only get the full picture once you’ve asked them questions and analysed the answers.
Plus, allowing patients to have their say boosts engagement, because they’ll see that their view counts. It shows you’re listening to them, and you’re ready to make changes based on their suggestions.
So, you’re ready to hear the truth. But how do you start that conversation? It’s not as straightforward as it sounds. Busy people often don’t want to take time out of their day to share their thoughts. But there are tools and tips that can help. Here are three to get you started.
1) Capture and Analyse What Patients Think with Smart Surveys
Surveys are the obvious tool to turn to for getting a better understanding of your patients – and new digital canvassing tools make them really easy to set up.
Use these tools to publish surveys across different platforms, including smartphones and tablets. 78% of people in the UK own a smartphone – so if you're able to reach people on these devices, it can be a huge boost to patient engagement. They can complete smart surveys quickly on the go, which is far more convenient than having to pick up a printed survey from the practice, fill it out, and return it.
Customise your surveys with modern flourishes, like buttons and drop-down menus, to make them more engaging for your audience. And when you’ve got the results, lay them out in graphs and tables to pinpoint trends and issues.
2) Ask Them Questions When They Check In
Let’s be honest – no matter how simple or swanky your survey is, some patients won’t find the time to complete it. But there are other ways to engage them.
Patient check-in software offers the perfect opportunity to sneak a few survey questions into your practice’s check-in process. Your patients are already entering their details at this point, so answering these questions will feel quick and totally seamless.
3) See Who You’re Getting Through to With Campaign Software Tools
Of course, you can’t learn more about patients if your communications are falling on deaf ears. This is where patient engagement software can help.
Through detailed stats and reports, the software shows you where your emails and SMS have failed to send or gone to the wrong address. You can see who has and hasn’t opened your content and use that data to optimise your healthcare campaigns.
You’ve got the data and feedback from your patients. You know which areas of your service you need to work on. Now you need some tried and tested methods to help you make those improvements.
You’ll find loads of tips on how to enhance queue management, communication, patient engagement, and more in our guide to improving patient engagement.Back to blog