Positive patient engagement in healthcare depends on a patient’s ability to communicate with their medical provider openly and have access to resources that allow them to take ownership of their health. Broadly speaking, the importance of patient engagement in healthcare lies in the fact that patients make more informed decisions when given access to resources and other enabling information.
According to HealthMine, almost 75% of all patients claim electronic access to their medical history, records and more would improve communication with their healthcare team and ultimately give them a clearer understanding of their healthcare needs.
When patients are adequately engaged and achieve positive health outcomes, it can translate to a better patient experience, fewer readmissions and lower medical costs across the board. Healthcare facilities are now more invested than ever in discovering innovative ways to engage their patients and aid them in achieving the best possible outcomes. However, to really understand the intricacies of the importance of patient engagement in healthcare, it is better to start by understanding what is patient engagement in healthcare in the first place.
What is patient engagement in healthcare?
Patient engagement in healthcare means patients have and use medical resources to make informed decisions about their health and wellness. It involves a shared-decision making process between the patient (and their family network) and the clinical team that is tethered to patient-centered education and an open communication model.
Why is patient engagement important for positive patient outcomes in healthcare?
High patient engagement has a positive impact on healthcare outcomes as per the CDC.
Engaged patients have better outcomes because they’re better informed about their treatment plans and are more likely to be in communication with their clinical team. This means they’re more likely to comply with prescribed treatments and therapies, which can lead to better treatment results.
Patient engagement can also encourage positive patient outcomes by:
- Empowering patients to stay motivated by setting goals. Clinical collaboration with patients can lead to patients that are more engaged in self-care, which includes regular and consistent exercise and adopting healthy eating habits.
- Encouraging patients to practice self-advocacy, perform additional research and ask questions whenever necessary.
- Increasing patient retention rates for clinical practices.
- Reducing the number of unnecessary readmissions and hospital stays.
- Lowering unnecessary patient-incurred medical costs.
How to ensure better healthcare patient engagement
Now that we understand why patient engagement is important, let’s try to consider what is involved in its implementation. A primary care provider and their medical team only have so many hours of direct or indirect contact with each patient every year.
Outside of wellness appointments and checkups or patient-portal chat sessions, it is a patient’s responsibility to assume a can-do mindset and commit to treatment plans and lifestyle goals on their own time.
From a practitioner's perspective, providing patients with the tools and resources they need to remain engaged to achieve their ideal health outcomes is critical. At the same time, practitioners and healthcare leaders must endeavor to understand the unique needs of their patient demographic. Some of the most effective ways to do this include:
- Co-developing an individualized health and wellness plan tailored to each patient’s needs that accounts for their lifestyle habits, preferences, etc.
- Providing easy access to educational resources via an innovative patient engagement system.
- Creating and maintaining an environment (and convenient communication channels, such as a patient portal or nurse practitioner chat feature) where open communication is encouraged between the healthcare team and the patient.
- Listening attentively to the patient's concerns and providing helpful resources if and whenever necessary.
- Utilizing technology tools (e.g., apps, websites, etc.) for tracking progress throughout treatment so they can develop ownership over their choices along the way.
- Committing to professional development opportunities and training centered on engagement and meeting the needs of diverse patient communities.
Patient engagement software can help you improve patient outcomes
As technology evolves, clinical practitioners must find the most convenient and user-friendly ways to engage their patients and drive positive patient outcomes. UPshow’s Patient engagement software is an innovative digital engagement solution that fits that bill.
Create accessible and engaging content
One of the best ways to remove barriers to patient engagement is by creating accessible and engaging content. With UPshow’s patient engagement software, you can use your existing televisions and screen displays to showcase your customized content and boost patient engagement.
You can create a content playlist of images, educational videos and other content that you can control from anywhere. With UPshow, it’s easy to make content that breaks down complex medical concepts or treatments to make it relatable, provide health and wellness tips and more.
If you’re worried you don’t have the technical know-how to accomplish this, don’t worry! UPshow offers preexisting, ready-to-use templates through in-platform Canva integration that you can use to create just the right content for your patients. The in-house managed services team can also help with content strategy, targeted creative design and more. Our team is here to offer support every step of the way.
Suppose you would like to inform patients about a new service, patient-portal feature or a feedback survey. In that case, you can use QR-code integration capabilities that give patients access to content right from their phones and other devices.
Make your healthcare environment one your patients feel safe in
For patients to open up to their healthcare providers — much less engage — they need to feel safe. After all, trust begins with safety and security.
Creating a calming healthcare environment with entertainment features can help patients feel more at ease and less anxious. This offers patients an opportunity to focus on their wellness.
You can accomplish this by highlighting targeted entertainment features in your content rotation.
For instance, patients who experience anxiety might appreciate a waiting room filled with serene sounds and scenes of nature. You can do this by coupling images of nature with one of UPshow’s lyric and ad-free music stations to recenter.
You could also take advantage of UPshow’s fixed panel and multipanel displays to highlight mindfulness best practices and healthy living recommendations simultaneously.
Forego cable Television and, instead, opt for UPshow’s 500 entertainment channels. These include live-streamed and hyper-local options. With several channels at their fingertips, patients are sure to find something to help them focus and settle in.
UPshow is the patient engagement software healthcare leaders trust
Driving patient engagement and positive health outcomes is a team effort that relies on fluid communication between clinicians and patients, patient access to educational materials and more.UPshow’s patient engagement software is a partner that healthcare leaders trust. We welcome you to try our risk-free demo so you can discover how UPshow’s patient engagement software can help your clinic, and patients, succeed.