What is Patient Engagement? What is the Importance of Patient Engagement in Healthcare

February 16, 2023

Peer into your waiting room on any given day and notice what you see. Patients thumbing through old issues of National Geographic? Maybe they’re biting their nails and glancing at the clock. While others are half-listening to the local news as they wait to hear it’s their turn to see the doctor.

It’s not about what they’re doing but what they could be doing. You have a ripe opportunity to improve patient engagement before their appointment even begins. 

Whether their waiting time is five minutes or a half hour, your patients could channel that nervous energy elsewhere. Say, into watching an educational video about leading a healthy lifestyle, decompressing with trivia or seeking last-minute clarification with a nurse in your mobile-patient portal.   

Offering cutting-edge opportunities to improve patient engagement can empower them and have immediate, short-term and long-term benefits for their health outcomes.

What is patient engagement in healthcare?

Patient engagement refers to a patient’s proactive and continuous involvement in their healthcare. As in learning about, advocating for and making decisions that affect their health, wellness and treatment. Ideally, healthcare patient engagement involves an ongoing collaboration between a patient, their family and their healthcare team. 

Patient engagement is a two-way street. 

For medical practitioners, it means offering customized treatment plans, steady engagement and ongoing dialogue. Personalized patient experiences and educational opportunities can empower your patients and show your unwavering support on their wellness journey. Now, let’s look at a few patient engagement benefits.

Why is patient engagement so important?

Improving patient engagement increases patient satisfaction

The importance of patient engagement in healthcare cannot be understated. For example, engaging your patients with targeted and personalized care shows them they’re more than just another patient to you. In short, they’ll feel seen. As far as the benefits of patient engagement go, there aren’t many as important as this because it keeps patients invested in their own wellbeing.

Witnessing your commitment to their needs can empower them to approach you with their thoughts and concerns. They’ll also take a more vested and vocal interest in their wellness.

The outcome? 

Patients who are engaged and more satisfied with their quality of care. 

Increase patient engagement to improve adherence rates

What you and your patients agree to in your practice and what they do at home may not align. Maybe you’ve recommended they lead a more active lifestyle. Or that they avoid stressful situations. Unfortunately, a less engaged patient may not follow your treatment plan. 

In contrast, patients who are active in their wellness journey are more likely to take their medications and adhere to other mandatory or recommended treatments. High patient engagement can equate to personal ownership of their health. That’s a win-win across the board.

Improve patient engagement to enhance communication between providers & patients

Continuous and empathetic communication is a pillar component of high patient engagement. When patients understand their role as decision-makers and feel heard, they’re more likely to voice their opinions or concerns to their healthcare providers.

Increasing patient engagement reduces costs associated with hospitalization & readmission

The more engaged your patient is, the more in tune they likely are about their body and condition(s). For instance, they may recognize the difference between a severe matter and a typical symptom–deterring them from seeking urgent care and reducing medical costs. 

Likewise, if they spot an early warning sign, they might seek treatment immediately instead of ignoring it and letting it snowball. Which could lead to costly treatments and hospital stays down the road. 

Healthcare patient engagement boosts long-term health outcomes

High patient engagement often means an unspoken level of trust is in place. The patient and clinician listen to one another. As a result, the patient remains informed, seeks clarification when necessary and follows their customized treatment plan. 

When patients and healthcare providers work as a team, patients can make informed decisions about their health and ultimately achieve improved —even ideal — health outcomes.

How patient engagement systems enable patient engagement in healthcare

Not every patient will understand the importance of taking an active role in their healthcare—much less how to do it. So, you’ll want to reach them where they are with an effective patient engagement strategy. That’s where a patient engagement system comes into play.

What is a patient engagement system? 

A patient engagement system is an on-premise digital engagement technology that powers multiple strategies to keep patients informed, educated, entertained and connected with their healthcare providers. All while delivering a positive in-clinic patient experience and driving improved health outcomes.

What to look for in a patient engagement system 

You need a patient engagement system that will offer capabilities that will improve patient engagement and drive better health outcomes. Here’s what to look for in a top-tier patient engagement system:

Easy content creation

Your primary focus is patient care. So, look for a patient engagement system with straightforward content creation capabilities.  

UPshow’s Canva integration will allow you to easily deliver announcements, relevant health statistics, digital offerings like your clinic app or patient portal and more.

Insights and analytics

Patient engagement is all about trial and error. You need accurate insights to know what’s working and what isn’t for your patients and your practice. That’s critical if you want to make informed and targeted changes in the best interests of your patients.

UPshow’s data analytics will allow you to:

  • Measure the performance of your clinic’s on-screen content
  • Assess and track mobile-user engagement and performance
  • Use real-time engagement data to change educational and entertainment content
  • Export your data for in-depth analysis

Content scheduling and rotation

You have only so many hours in the day. When you choose a patient engagement system, opt for one that offers content scheduling capabilities.

UPshow’s Playlists allow you to control the content your patients see and when they see it.

Robust entertainment options

While patient education is essential, so is engagement in its purest form–entertainment! And entertainment can be just what the doctor ordered to calm some patients’ anxiety, at least temporarily.

UPshow offers over 500 channels of entertainment, including both local and streamable options.

Or, if you prefer to offer nerve-settling music, choose a patient engagement system with 50 stations of commercial-free music.

Ways to integrate other patient engagement tools

Let’s face it–everyone, including your patients, is always on their phones. Partnering with a patient engagement system that allows you to use that knowledge to drive patient engagement is ideal.

You can use UPshow’s QR code integration to encourage your patients to check in to reception upon arrival, link them to their patient portal app or complete a post-check-up survey.

How your patient engagement system can help you keep patients engaged

The sky’s the limit when it comes to leveraging your patient engagement system to engage your patients. If it’s winter, use your in-clinic digital displays to show flu-prevention practices. Have you released a new RX chat feature in your patient portal? Display a QR code your patients can scan to seek input.

Here are some of the many other ways you can use your patient engagement system to engage your patients:

  • Introduce new medical professionals in your practice
  • Offer a patient spotlight to encourage in-clinic community engagement
  • Broadcast the latest medical news and safety protocols
  • Showcase simple healthy recipes for a healthy lifestyle

UPshow can help you make a difference in your patient care 

Patient care doesn’t begin or end when a patient steps into your practice. Their wellness journey is ongoing. We understand that their health and treatment are your number one priority.

UPshow’s comprehensive patient engagement system can keep you connected with them every step of the way. We invite you to try our risk-free demo. It’s one thing to engage your patients, but it’s another to empower them to live their best lives.

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