Improving the health and lives of patients is something we all strive for in healthcare. One way this is done is by improving patient engagement. In fact, evidence shows that when patients are actively involved in their care experience, it can lead to better outcomes and healthier lives. As a result, healthcare organizations employ strategies to better engage patients, but on average, healthcare leaders and clinicians believe just 34 percent of their patients are highly engaged, according to a NEJM Catalyst Insights Council survey.
Engaging patients in their care can be a challenging feat, but several strategies have proven to be successful. At Wellbox, our patient engagement strategies not only deliver better care and improve the lives of our patients but have led to an over 80 percent engagement rate for our services. Learn more about the five essential patient engagement strategies we use to improve outcomes below.
The first step to improving patient engagement and outcomes is to implement patient segmentation. By breaking down patient populations into different segments, it can reveal detailed insights into this patient group such as their risks, diagnoses, and coverage. Identifying these patients can help better understand the population and their unique care needs, which can help determine the strategies needed to deliver this care.
At Wellbox, we begin every service by conducting a patient population health analysis. We identify which patients are high-risk, what conditions they have, and how their insurance will cover the services. This way, we can find the patients who will most benefit from our solutions.
Additionally, focusing our time and resources on these patients can improve their health and overall outcomes. Segmentation also helps our care team to better understand the patients they are assisting and decide on the best care coordination that will support their needs.
When patients receive services, they may not always follow their medical regimens. According to the American Journal of Medicine, approximately 50% of patients with chronic disease do not obtain clinical benefit from treatment because of poor compliance. Lack of adherence is associated with poor clinical outcomes, increased hospitalizations, and lower quality of life. Therefore, it’s essential to keep patients engaged and compliant with their health management.
Patient education has demonstrated to significantly enhance compliance. It’s beneficial for patients to understand their diagnoses and what can be done to improve their conditions. When patients trust and understand the recommended guidelines given to them, they are more likely to see the efforts and results as worth it.
For example, a study revealed that when patients received educational materials, 67% of them were compliant with their treatment. They were found to be more satisfied with the treatment, increased communication with their providers, and improved health behaviors and outcomes.
Similarly, our care team establishes clear communication with patients from the start. They answer questions, provide education over conditions, and help patients find resources and medications available to them. The more patients understand their care management, the more motivated they are to follow and engage with their care. The results can be seen in our own care management program where patients are educated with a care plan. The outcomes include:
An article published in the American Journal of Surgery found that when care interactions lacked shared decision-making or the shared decision-making was not up to a specific standard, patient-reported outcomes deteriorated.
Shared decision-making describes a process in which clinicians and patients work together to make decisions and select tests, treatments, and care plans based on clinical evidence. An effective strategy for engaging with patients is to make their health plans and goals with them.
According to a study with Mayo Clinic, they implemented a shared decision-making program with their patients and saw hospital admissions reduce by 19 percent. The researchers credited this decision tool for providing better care to the individual patients and improving their clinical outcomes.
Patients are more motivated to participate in a treatment they helped decide on. Planning and communication need to not only come from their care team but the patients’ own input and collaboration. That’s why it’s important for care teams to educate patients and help them make informed decisions, and as a result, increase their engagement with their health regimen.
For our team, we believe every interaction counts. Engaging with patients does not only happen once or a few times a year. This is because delivering continuous care is essential to improving the health and lives of patients.
Wellbox contacts patients every month to provide care, encourage patients in their health journey, and offer accountability about their health goals when needed. We find that treating every consistent interaction as important makes the patients feel more satisfied and cared for. They receive a positive healthcare experience and are more likely to adhere to their care plans.
It’s not only our services making a difference. Research has shown that continuity of care is associated with patient satisfaction, decreased hospital visits, and increased preventative care measures. This is especially impactful for high-risk patients such as those living with chronic conditions. For example, a study found that continuous care delivered to diabetic patients significantly reduced health complications and medical costs.
One of the biggest challenges to improving patients’ health is when they lack access to care. People who live in rural areas, lack access to high quality food, or social interactions are facing risk factors. In fact, 14 percent of chronically ill patients say they do not get the care they need to manage their conditions. Barriers continuously limit and prevent people from receiving adequate access to care.
Virtual care can help make healthcare accessible. Solutions like Care Management and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) bridge the gap in care by offering the opportunity to effectively engage with patients who may have not traditionally had access or participation with healthcare services. Remote access can also help preserve the patient-care team relationship at times when an in-person visit is not practical or feasible.
These virtual solutions can help patients who live in healthcare shortages have access to a care team, personalized care plans, and support throughout their wellness journey with consistent, meaningful interactions.
They can also offer access to technology. Employing patient engagement strategies alongside technology can ensure success in patient participation and improvement. This is because of its ability to report patient data in real-time, which can lead to better outcomes for healthcare organizations and patients alike.
If leveraging turnkey virtual care solutions sounds like something that could work well for your practice and patients, our team can help. Contact us today to get started.Share to