Ways Providers Can Retain Patients
Patients need to feel genuine interactions with their provider and care team so they feel like they are receiving a positive care experience . This is often done by doctors communicating with their patients in an empathetic and compassionate way. Moreover, if small adverse effects do occur, patients may be more understanding if they feel more positively toward their doctor. It’s also important for doctors to stay connected with their patients in between visits . For instance, patients will feel more connected with personalized messages about their care plan and resources that they can benefit from. Another important method to improve retention is to decrease long wait times . Patients often leave their visit feeling more satisfied knowing their time at the doctor’s office was efficient. This can be done through better appointment scheduling and making sure patients are provided with reminders to come on time.
Online presence also plays an important role in keeping patients happy and likely to be retained. Providers should make sure that the interface to schedule appointments is easy to use and can be done at any time . Furthermore, it’s good to periodically check patient reviews to see what can be improved. Especially now, people are more likely to check online reviews when choosing their providers . Staying on top of negative reviews and handling them professionally can help retain current patients while promoting new ones to visit. Lastly, some patients may have questions about their prescription or treatment plan outside of office hours. Having a way to periodically message patients after office hours helps them feel more connected and likely to follow up.
Health IT Technologies Increase Patient Engagement
Patients need to be supported so they can be more engaged in their healthcare plans. This can lead to more positive health outcomes. One way health IT can promote patient engagement is by creating a public-facing interface where patients can watch videos about their care. For instance, nearly 30% of patients reported that they did not understand their treatment requirements . Therefore, health IT can be used to decrease this statistic and empower patients to use the resources available to them. Furthermore, patients need easy-to-use portals that can provide them with their health records in a timely manner . Health IT can also play a role in connecting patients to those with similar conditions so they can be a part of a support group . This helps patients feel like they can reach out to their peers if they need help.
Another method of increasing patient engagement is by offering online care services in multiple languages . For instance, English may not be some patients’ first language. Therefore, it’s important that patients can access their information and treatment plans in the language they are most comfortable with. Additionally, one-third of patients lack health literacy skills . Health IT can address this by creating educational material. These materials can be in the form of visual graphics, videos, and checklists for treatment plans, . Furthermore, addressing the challenges that patients may face is important in improving engagement. For instance, some treatment plans must be taken on a full stomach, but that’s not possible for patients who face food insecurity . Patients without internet or electricity may also not be able to partake in remote services if they are unable to charge their devices or have internet access to stay connected .
Partnerships Combat Social Determinants and Increase Patient Retention and Engagement
Providers can decrease social determinants as long as they put an effort to implement them through effective partnerships. For instance, providers can maintain an open conversation about food insecurity and provide their patients with resources so they can improve their overall health and adhere to their medications better . Furthermore, patients who lack stable housing will likely not prioritize their health. Providers can work with their communities to create partnerships and provide affordable housing options for their patients . Moreover, rural patients may have difficulty reaching their doctor’s office. Providers can offer partnerships that provide medical transportation, or even promote telehealth services if the patient has a stable internet connection . Finally, providers need to decrease social isolation and use technology to promote connections between patients so they can be more likely to follow their treatment plans and ask questions without fear .
HITS’ agency culture and mission facilitate customer/human-centered design. We tailor software and project management support products to meet our customer’s needs, not our bottom line. Furthermore, HITS puts the “soft” in “software” development. We analyze functional requirements received from within and outside the organization to ensure all needs were properly adjudicated to be included in the software. This allows clients and customers to have peace of mind that their needs are heard and acted upon. Lastly, HITS reaches out on behalf of clients to counterparts within and outside the team/organization to acquire and provide needed information to complete project deliverables, activities, and approval processes critical to the acquisition of healthcare products. HITS leverages any applicable business partnerships to “grease the skids” to expedite projects as much as possible.
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