Research shows that engaged patients are less likely to have unmet needs. That means keeping your retail healthcare patients engaged could be key to ensuring they continue coming back to you.
But patient engagement can be tough. To make sure you’re doing it correctly, you’ll need to leverage the right technologies and practices.
Why patient engagement is worth prioritizing
If you’re not familiar with the term, patient engagement is all about making an individual an active participant in their own healthcare plan. For example, this might include getting patients to commit to exercising regularly or encouraging them to eat more nutritious meals.
This is worth prioritizing because patients who engage with their healthcare plan tend to have better health outcomes.
It’s also generally better for a retail healthcare clinic’s bottom line when it engages its patients. That’s because engaged patients tend to use healthcare services more often.
How do you measure patient engagement?
Though it’s not difficult to see why patient engagement is important, it can be challenging to measure where you’re currently at with it.
But the most effective measurement may simply be to just survey your patients. You can do so by asking them questions like:
- How much do you think about health when you’re not with us?
- What types of things do you do at home to look after your health?
- Do you feel engaged with your healthcare plan?
- What types of tools and technologies do you use while on your own to stay engaged with your health?
Top patient engagement tools for retail healthcare
Now that we know why patient engagement is worth prioritizing and how to measure it, it’s time to look at the top patient engagement methods and tools for retail healthcare.
You can use any of these tools to start improving your rate of patient engagement.
Digital signage is super beneficial to retail healthcare clinics. One of the main ways that it can help you is by giving you the tools that you need to boost your patient engagement numbers.
If you don’t know, digital signage is either a single screen or a system of screens that you use to share targeted content throughout your retail healthcare clinic.
These signs are dynamic, which means that you can create a rotation of displays that change at set intervals throughout the day. This makes it very easy to leverage digital signs to accomplish a variety of patient engagement tasks.
For example, you could use your digital signs to:
- Advertise the services that you offer and tell patients how often they should be taking advantage of them
- Explain why it’s important for patients to do things like eat healthy meals and exercise
- Tell your patients about the various engagement tools that are available for them to use
- Keep your patients entertained in your waiting area so that they don’t mind coming back as often as necessary in the future
A retail healthcare clinic can use a single digital signage system to accomplish all of these patient engagement tasks. That’s why they may be the single most valuable tool for boosting your patient engagement numbers.
Telehealth is another excellent tool for keeping your patients more engaged. It’s become increasingly popular in the COVID and post-COVID eras due to its convenience.
Telehealth technology enables patients to connect with their doctor without having to leave the comfort of home. Investing in this capability for your retail healthcare clinic could be just what it needs to get patients to see their physician as often as they should be.
The key theme here is convenience. When you leverage technology like telehealth to make it more convenient for patients to engage with their health, they usually will.
Adding a patient portal to your website is another way to make it more convenient for your patients to interact with your staff. All that you need to do this is a single kiosk in your clinic, which your staff can use to interact with patients.
The patients will be able to visit your website, log in to an account and talk with members of your staff. This convenient communication channel should make it much easier for an individual to remain engaged with their healthcare plan while at home.
Remote patient monitoring
Wearable technologies (like FitBits and Apple Watches) have made it easier than ever for a patient to monitor their health while they’re on their own.
Some retail healthcare clinics are taking advantage of the new generation of wearable health technology by offering remote patient monitoring based on them.
For example, a patient could sign up to give your retail healthcare clinic access to the data they generate on their FitBit. You could have a staff member review that data weekly and send the patient a message about it.
Creating this type of program could do wonders for your patient engagement numbers. It would provide a very straightforward, simple way for patients to keep engaged.
Mobile apps are another great way to keep your patients engaged while they’re not with you. You can design them to include whatever you think will help boost your engagement numbers the most.
For example, you might even include things like your patient portal and your telehealth services in a mobile app. That way, individuals who prefer accessing the internet via their mobile devices instead of on computers will have a simple way to take advantage of these services.
Just because you want to boost your patient engagement numbers doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to invest in the latest healthcare technology. The job could be as simple as creating an educational newsletter for your patients.
These can be effective because they keep your patients informed about the latest health and wellness information in your community. They’re also a great channel for reminding your patients about the importance of remaining engaged with their health while they’re on their own.
Social media availability
Social media is another excellent tool for engaging with your patients. Every retail healthcare clinic should have social media accounts that they can use to interact with people who want to learn more about the clinic.
This is important because social media is the main way that people stay in contact with one another nowadays. And you want to make sure that patients can engage with your retail healthcare clinic on whatever channels they’re already using.
You can also use social media to share posts that keep your followers informed about various healthcare trends. It’s another reason why your clinic should be active on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Building your patient engagement strategy
Building a patient engagement strategy from scratch can be tough. Here are step-by-step instructions you can follow to do it the right way.
1. Start by understanding where you’re at
The first thing to do is measure your current patient engagement rate. You can do that with an online measurement system, by asking your patients directly, or by doing both of these things.
2. Determine your goals
Next, you want to figure out where you hope to go with your patient engagement numbers. Give yourself a measurable target to work towards and track your progress over a set period (such as a month, quarter, or year).
3. Set a budget
Now you’re ready to determine the amount that you can spend on boosting your patient engagement numbers. Some technologies and methods will cost more than others to implement. Blending some costly technologies with some free ones is generally a smart strategy.
4. Ask your patients how they would like to engage with you
Before you begin investing, make sure that you ask your patients how they would prefer to engage with your healthcare clinic. If you skip this step, you could risk spending money on technologies that your patients aren’t going to use.
5. Invest in the right technologies
Now you’re ready to begin investing in the technologies that you’ve chosen to leverage to boost your patient engagement numbers. One of the best places to start with this process is getting your retail healthcare clinic set up with digital signage.
Digital signage is a great starting point because you can use it to engage with patients in several different ways without having to invest in multiple technologies to do it.
When you’re ready to get started with digital signage, check out UPshow. Our digital signage software gives you complete control over how you create and deploy displays that target patient engagement.You can get in touch with us today to set up a free demo and see what UPshow can do for your retail healthcare clinic.