The Importance of Patient & Provider Engagement
Focusing on patient engagement is essential because it leads to long-term positive health outcomes for patients. This can result in patients sticking to their medication plan or following up when they face new adverse effects. Oftentimes, patients are more engaged in their treatment plan when they feel like their doctor is engaged too. This can be as simple as patients feeling like their doctor is genuinely advocating for their safety and health. Furthermore, patients who are not engaged are two times as likely to delay their care, and they are three times more likely to not take care of their medical needs . Moreover, preventable readmissions can occur when patients fail to follow their aftercare treatment plans when released from the hospital . Therefore, improving provider engagement is crucial because it can improve patient engagement and overall better health outcomes.
Improving Provider Retention Results in Higher-Quality Care
High turnover rates can lead to costs for hospitals and can result in patients receiving lower-quality care. For instance, hospitals will lose out on costs associated with training and recruitment efforts, as well as have to pay more for travel nurses to fill in for those who quit . Furthermore, a study showed that patients experienced more satisfaction when they were seen by nurses who enjoyed their work compared with nurses that wanted to quit . Another study showed that increased employee turnover rates directly resulted in greater patient mortality rates . Furthermore, hospitals that had enough staff often experienced decreased rates of adverse health effects in their patients . This could mean a reduction in medication errors, pneumonia, and even death . Therefore, it’s important for healthcare leaders to improve provider retention so patients have better health outcomes.
Implementing Health IT Technologies to Strengthen Provider & Patient Engagement
Health IT improves patient and provider engagement. For instance, patient portals provide a way for patients to access their personal health records at any time. Currently, portals are going one step further and provide messaging and telehealth capabilities that allow patients to be connected to their providers remotely and even outside of regular business hours. Patient portals also allow multiple healthcare staff to respond to patient inquiries, which can lessen the load on one provider . Furthermore, patient portals can be used to provide automated reminders to patients, such as for their next follow-up or screening test . Moreover, AI can be implemented to assist providers with risk assessment in patients . For instance, AI can detect worsening conditions and send reminders of medication allergies. Overall, portals allow patients and providers to be engaged in the care process easier and more effectively.
Improving Retention Rates in Providers and Patients
Provider and patient retention rates go hand-in-hand. The first step is for leadership to take a step back and actually determine what their healthcare staff needs to feel more satisfied in their work . Next, it’s important to create digital tools to address staff needs and relieve administrative tasks that can result in staff feeling burdened . Concerningly, providers who face increased time dealing with documentation can lead to decreased provider and patient relationships. This is because patients are less likely to be involved if they feel like their doctor isn’t either. Furthermore, dissatisfied patients can lead to decreased retention rates and the loss of future patients. As mentioned previously, AI can be used to act as an assistant for providers and relieve some of the administrative burdens that healthcare staff face .
It’s also important that when health IT companies are developing software that will be used by physicians, then they take in their input. For instance, if providers are spending more time inputting data than seeing patients, then one of the functional requirements should be a way to automate this process. Overall, providers are retained when leaders take a moment to address their concerns and create tools to support them. This can increase provider retention because healthcare staff will feel supported and increased satisfaction. This in turn will lead to more positive experiences with patients, who are more likely to be loyal to their doctors. Therefore, creating functional requirements that are centered on the user is an effective method of increasing provider satisfaction. Overall, this will result in improved retention rates for both providers and patients.
HITS’ agency culture and mission facilitate customer/human-centered design. We tailor software and project management support products to meet our customer’s needs. Furthermore, HITS puts the “soft” in “software” development. We analyze functional requirements to ensure all needs are 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. HITS also makes sure that all medical and appropriate representatives (either medical, technical, supportive, and/or administrative) are present during the High-Performance Team creation as a wide range of expertise is needed to develop the Capability Development Documents. Finally, HITS expects all staff to incorporate customer experience-related best practices and offers incentives for excellent customer experience performance and team collaboration.
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