Can Patient Engagement Technology Enable Educational Outcomes?
From their first interaction with your practice, patients should have the tools available to handle their healthcare with ease. Whether it’s the ability to book appointments online, or use a self-check-in kiosk – patient engagement technology empowers people to remove tedious administration processes from their healthcare experience.
In fact, McKinsey research found that patient expectations are increasingly leaning towards access to digital tools in the delivery of their care. People now expect some form of contact through digital channels, creating a class of modern healthcare consumerism whereby people are no longer passive recipients of care and instead, are engaged through patient-centred forms of communication.
This not only contributes to greater patient engagement, it also opens up numerous opportunities for new educational touch-points.
More Patient Interactions, More Educational Opportunities
By increasing the number of interactions they have with their patients, healthcare providers can unlock new educational opportunities.
Patient engagement platforms create a clear, linear path for patients to follow. As opposed to traditional administration processes or interactions, digital platforms are more intuitive, personalised, and responsive to what individual patients need.
For example, online booking is an easier process for patients than waiting in a phone queue to hear whether they might get an appointment. Or, a personalised digital healthcare campaign targeted at over-60s may be more relevant to older patients than generic leaflets found in the hospital waiting room.
Through increasing relevant interactions, healthcare providers can find more ways to enable learning opportunities and educational outcomes for their patients.
How to Harness Your Educational Touch-points
Imagine your patients' interactions and journey through your practice. Where does their first interaction take place? What channels do you use to communicate with them? How do they obtain healthcare information? Are there measures in place to assess the quality of their care?
Most importantly, are your patients equipped with the knowledge they need to effectively manage their health and care?
Here are three ways you can harness your patient interactions to communicate educational information to your patients, empowering them to become more active in their healthcare and enabling you to deliver more educational outcomes:
1. DIGITAL SIGNAGE
Practice waiting rooms are rarely considered the most exciting place to be. In fact, many people are only jolted awake from their boredom-induced daze when their name is finally called. But it doesn't have to be this way.
Digital signage can both stimulate and educate your patients with customisable content and playlists that deliver important healthcare news. Your practice can use digital displays to show healthcare campaigns, communicate relevant information about your practice, and improve your waiting room environment, educating patients and boosting satisfaction.
For example, you could display informative tips about managing hygiene in your practice, or educational facts about healthy eating at the beginning of the year. Moreover, if you offer unique services such as immunisation clinics, digital signage can make your patients aware of this. Its many powerful, and irreplaceable, uses make it a vital component of modern healthcare.
2. SMS AND EMAIL
Chances are, you already use SMS and email to remind patients of their appointment times, prescription pickups, or to communicate vital practice news. So, why not use these channels to communicate educational information too?
Studies show that 54% of people would like to use their smartphones to interact with their healthcare provider. SMS or email can help you deliver your healthcare campaigns straight to patients' devices. Providing educational content in this way can remove the need for patients to Google their health concerns or spend time trying to find the right leaflet in your waiting room.
Additionally, smart campaign platforms enable you to filter your patient data into targeted segments, enabling your practice to send healthcare campaigns to specific groups. For example, by age group, gender, or health concern. This provides an opportunity to educate your patients with relevant and personal health campaigns – empowering them with knowledge and giving them greater autonomy over their care.
3. PATIENT SURVEYS
Patient surveys are key opportunities to receive feedback from patients about your practice. If you're not measuring your performance and its
You can use surveys to identify trends in patient behaviour or pinpoint common patient concerns. Here, surveys become an educational tool for your practice, allowing you to learn more about your patient needs and wants, and alter your services in response to their feedback.
Surveys can also serve as an educational tool for patients. If survey results often highlight gaps in patient knowledge – such as confusion over opening times or administration processes – you're better placed to devise strategies that target this. What's more, you can include informative or educational information in your surveys (which you're able to build and customise bespoke to your practice) in order to better inform patients.
Education is crucial if you want to help your patients gain greater control of their care and a better understanding of their treatment. Moreover, educated patients are more likely to be engaged in their care and have greater understanding of the importance of following treatment plans – experiencing better healthcare outcomes as a result.
To see how patient engagement tools can help you take charge of important educational touch-points in your practice, book a demo of Jayex Connect.