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25 Creative Ways to Increase Patient Engagement

Posted by Teresa Iafolla, May 9, 2016

Looking for ways to get your patients more engaged in their care?

You're in luck. We've assembled this quick list of great tips from around the web to improve your patient engagement rates. Whether you're a solo practitioner in a small practice, or part of a hospital system, there are many tactics you can test with your patient population to get them empowered and excited about their health and their care plans.

While leveraging mobile health tools still tops the list of patient engagement strategies, we've also included other creative techniques that play on community engagement and personalized medicine.

Browse the list and identify a few that might work for your practice. Try them out and watch for a difference in your patient care program.

Healthcare 2.0

1. Use email. Communicate with patients via email; Catalyst Healthcare Research reports that 93% of adults prefer clinics that offer email communication.

2. Send reminders via text. Text reminders to ensure that patients show up for appointments. Many patients greatly prefer text-based reminders to phone calls.

3. Get your website mobile-ready. Make your practice website smartphone-compatible so that patients browsing the web on their phones can easily find you and get the information they need.

4. Recommend a few mHealth apps. Encourage patients to monitor their health via smartphone apps.

5. Use ePrescribe and online prescription renewal requests. This is a huge benefit to patients, especially ones who are managing a lot of different prescriptions. And not only does this enhance patient engagement, it significantly improves efficiency among healthcare providers.

6. Provide daily medication reminders via text or email. A Johns Hopkins test of reminder app Memotext found that daily adherence to prescription increased by 31.4% for those receiving automated reminders.

7. Gamify.  Make managing healthcare fun by recommending an mHealth app that gamifies the experience. Patients are more likely to log their workouts and meals when they get points for doing it!

8. Make patient education resource accessible. Offer online information about medications, types of therapy, and other topics of interest to patients.

9. Do appointment scheduling online.  Let patients request and schedule appointments online. Many patients prefer it, and it'll save your office staff on calls and phone tag.

10. Allow patients to enter their own data into their online portals. This makes it easier for physicians to track patient progress and, if need be, modify treatment plans between clinic visits.

11. Get on social media. Launch social media initiatives encouraging patients - particularly those with chronic pain - to share their stories and photos. PharmaVoice reports that Pfizer's social media initiative for those living with pain has received positive patient feedback.

12. Share helpful youtube videos. Find a few funny, creative, or just informative videos about different health conditions and share them with your patients as another educational tool.

13. Make patient medical records easily accessible online. On of the top patient requests is easy access to their medical records. Without on-demand online access to all their lab results and appointment information, it'll take more time and effort to manage their care.

Reward Programs and Discounts

14. Befriend your local gyms. Partner with local fitness facilities and offer discounts to patients who visit the gym on a regular basis.

15. Motivate patients with rewards. Provide discounts or entries into a raffle for those who meet certain health outcomes, such as lower blood pressure or reduced BMI.

Community Support

16. Let patients stay in touch. Make Skype available at all times so that those staying in the hospital can easily contact loved ones. Improved WiFi and cell service in hospitals and clinics can also reduce feelings of isolation.

17. Offer telehealth. Add telehealth services, particularly for mental health patients who may be reluctant to schedule or show up for appointments.

18. Organize support groups, both for patients and their loved ones.

19. Encourage online support groups as well. In addition to in-person support groups, share links to online communities that patients can turn to, especially if they prefer an anonymous source of support.

20. Host an open house. Organize special events at your practice that increase awareness of problematic health conditions or other issues of interest.

21. Promote healthy eating initiatives, including community gardens and cooking classes.

22. Have resources on hand for your bilingual patients. Provide additional support for bilingual patients, who are less likely to follow through if they struggle to understand healthcare providers' instructions.

Personalization and Collaboration

23. Try shared decision-making. Allow patients to take part in shared decision making, which may convince them to take more responsibility for their health.

24. Shift the focus from patient engagement to family engagement. Engaged family members can provide guidance and accountability for struggling patients.

25. Get to know the patient. Observe patient preferences and use them to guide future healthcare experiences. Even small touches such as tailored hospital menus can make a huge difference.

 

Topics: eVisit Blog Posts

Teresa Iafolla

About Teresa Iafolla

Teresa Iafolla is an expert writer, researcher, and content wrangler who has previously worked as director of content marketing for a telehealth company and associate editor for a healthcare publishing company.

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