Increasing patient engagement levels has been found to have a significant impact on the overall general health and comfort of the average patient. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is for a medical practice is to use everyday words and phrases in conversations with patients rather than relying on medical jargon that may not be understood. Fortunately, modern technology is streamlining certain aspects of patient care to the extent that primary health care providers are able to spend more of their time with patients. One-on-one time between providers and patients has been found to have a substantial positive impact on patient health and well-being.
Other effective ways of increasing patient interaction and engagement are as follows.
Involving patients’ families is an excellent way to increase engagement among patients because it cultivates a communicative atmosphere among all involved parties. Some patients may be more likely to be forthcoming with specific family members than with health care practitioners, and family members may be able to provide health care workers with valuable information concerning the condition of the patient. Patients who feel somewhat distrusting of those in the medical field may become more relaxed and open if their family members are are a part of the communicative process involved in their health care.
Establishing Patient Advisory Boards
Patients are more likely to become proactively engaged in their own health care when they have a peer-based advisory board to air any grievances they may have. Advisory boards can also assist health care professionals in obtaining unbiased feedback concerning aspects of their practice such as ease of making appointments, waiting room comfort and design, and front desk personnel. Providing a convenient way for patients to voice complaints is also advised for those seeking ways to improve two-way communication between patients and staff.
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Many people use technology to streamline almost every aspect of their lives. Introducing a system in a medical practice that allows patients to access medical records, make appointments, receive electronic messages reminding them of appointments, and to renew prescriptions may increase patient engagement substantially. Telehealth software provides patients with the convenient tools they need to stay connected and engaged with their health care providers. Mobile and web technologies also create more efficient office environments that benefit everyone. For instance, patients are less apt to forget appointments after receiving reminder texts or emails, reducing wasted time caused by no-shows. Telehealth technology also provides convenient aftercare monitoring for surgical patients and has been found to be instrumental in reducing readmission rates.
As technology continues to progress, many more ways to involve patients in their health care processes will become available.