What Do Patients Want Out of Patient Engagement?

August 22, 2018

For many patients, even routine medical procedures can be an anxiety-ridden experience. As most don’t have a medical background, just going into the doctor’s office for something other than an annual physical exam can be intimidating. We all want to be reassured when undergoing something that scares us. Through a communication-based app, patients can remain connected to their healthcare providers, even long after they’ve left the hospital giving patients a sense of security throughout their healthcare journey.

Automated daily communication takes the status quo of healthcare one step further, ensuring that patients feel empowered, connected, and heard by their care providers.

Let's take a closer look at what patients want in order to create a more engaging relationship with their healthcare providers.

 

Patients Demand Access

Consider this: according to a survey by Black Book, 92 percent of patients believe that customer experience in the healthcare realm should be at the top of every provider’s list of improvements. That means patients increasingly expect app-based connectivity as a standard offering from their healthcare providers. 

Gone are the days of solely relying on paper discharge instructions and call centers. Patients demand access to their care providers though a digital medium from the comfort of their own homes. Why? Because undergoing a medical procedure can be a scary process. Knowing that you have instant access to someone you trust goes a long way in making patients feel empowered. It should come as no surprise that as a result, patients are more likely to ask the right questions and stay on top of discharge instructions.

Access to healthcare providers is so important that 90 percent of patients surveyed said they would trade provider loyalty for digital access. With HealthLoop, you can cultivate both. HealthLoop offers a seamless, simple experience that patients appreciate, with 92 percent of patients reporting that they are “extremely likely” to recommend their physicians to family or friends.

 

We are All Human

Everyone loves to feel a sense of connectivity and belonging; it's what makes us human. As patients, we have come to accept that we have few precious minutes to spend with our care providers, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Fortunately, technology provides patients the ability to feel connected to their care team at any time of day. Although one can describe HealthLoop as simply a communication platform, just the mere knowledge that one has the ability to send a message or upload a photo and receive a prompt response at any time provides intangible benefits in terms of patients’ sense of connectedness and satisfaction with their doctor. Indeed, who doesn't want to feel cared for during a tough time?

From procedure to discharge and follow-ups, having access to care providers at any time of day helps patients feel secure. Often, they feel confident in asking questions or voicing concerns when they can write them out, instead of struggling to articulate their worries in the moments before their doctor rushes out of the room, or before their nurse hangs up the phone.

HealthLoop’s automated communication gives providers quick and easy answers to patient’s concerns. In addition, if a serious problem does arise, care providers are alerted immediately, ensuring that patients feel seen and heard when they need that assurance the most.

 

Access to Information Puts Us Patients Ease

Imagine for a moment that you are a patient in tremendous pain after undergoing a simple medical procedure. Your discharge instructions stated that some discomfort is normal, but this pain is keeping you up at night.

You contact your care provider over the phone, but are sheepish about the pain levels. You don't want to sound whiny. Your provider informs you that some pain is normal. You take their advice, but the pain worsens and before you know it, you're rushed to the ER and there's a complication. This all could have been avoided with a platform like HealthLoop, that can alert care providers when a patient is experiencing alarming symptoms.

Patients don’t always feel comfortable sharing their concerns about recovery, sickness, or injuries. When an issue arises, patients may even avoid contacting their care provider out of desire to not burden them with a phone call. They may even downplay their own symptoms or not understand how to adequately verbalize what they’re experiencing. That lack of communication can lead to adverse outcomes that are sadly often preventable.

Technology like HealthLoop enables patients to get real-time answers about the urgency of their particular concern or situation. Patients can even send photographs if they’re unable to verbalize an issue. Access to such information allows patients to feel more confident in the severity of their condition.

 

Empower Patients to Be Proactive

We all want to feel like we have control over our lives, and it is doubly true for patients undergoing recovery from a medical procedure or hospitalization. Through automated daily communication and reminders, patients are empowered take control of their health outcomes, enabling them to recover from the comforts of their own home. However, if something doesn’t feel right, they have access to answers right at their fingertips. This safety assurance makes a world of the difference in patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. 

In a recent study in which two groups of patients all underwent the same recovery process (one group self-directed from home and the other on-site), both groups successfully managed their follow-up care. HealthLoop’s automated daily communication enables patients to recover better at home. Items such as daily reminders for physical therapy exercises, stretching, and wound care are all now within the patient’s reach.

Daily reminders and feedback empower patients. Once empowered, patients feel more in control of their recovery and who doesn't want that? Overall, the recovery process feels less daunting and more proactive.

 

Create a Seamless Experience

One of the keys to creating an impactful patient engagement experience is to make something that patients actually love to use. A seamless user experience not only makes us feel welcomed, but it also keeps us engaged. Engagement drives adherence, keeping patients on track towards a successful recovery. Engagement also ensures that patients are active stakeholders in their own health, empowering them to reach out proactively for the information they need.

HealthLoop’s familiar user interface makes it less intimidating for patients to reach out. Anyone who has used popular social media platforms will intuitively know how to post a question to their care provider. As a patient, you don’t feel as if you are bothering anyone – so asking a question feels like dropping a line to a close friend. This increases engagement and ensures that patients are getting the care they need at home.

Providers can’t possibly be everywhere at once, but HealthLoop allows them to bridge that gap. From a patient perspective, having that access to information, help, and communication not only relieves anxiety, but can aid in a potentially urgent situation. In the end the patient feels reassured that care can be given from anywhere, and that they’re always in safe hands.

 

Categories: Patient Engagement, Patient Experience, Value-Based Care

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