February 28, 2018

On Trends: Why Patient Engagement Can’t Stop at Clinical Care

Patients are tech-savvy consumers, and healthcare organizations are taking note. Communicating with patients has never been easier — and at the same time, more challenging! Striking the right chord in consumer communication is both art and science.

Tailored patient communication, from registration and appointment setting to clinical follow-up and statement design, is increasingly important. Patient adoption of communication technology, including portals, smartphones and email, is rising along with their expectations for greater healthcare engagement sophistication. Providers can no longer assume that excellence in clinical care delivery carries the day, or at least the engagement-day, with patients.

Patients (Really) Want to Engage

Patient engagement is on the rise — up 20 percent in the past year. More than 7 in 10 surveyed patients feel engaged, and 95 percent not only see the benefits of online engagement but also feel comfortable communicating with providers via online patient portals.

Smart Engagement Includes Smartphones

According to Pew Research Center, nearly 80 percent of Americans own a smartphone; the number jumps to 85 percent for patients ages 18-64, and those 65 and older are gaining ground at almost 50 percent. At the other end of your patient base, 95 percent of millennials want to receive text messages about all aspects of care delivery, from front-office appointment reminders to back-office billing and payment options.

These findings mean patients are ready and willing to engage electronically, but are they able? When patients are asked if they feel providers offer effective engagement solutions, the answer is no. Only 29 percent of patients give their provider an “A” for delivering technology solutions that make engagement easy.

Patients Want Tech-Powered Engagement

The results are in, and tech-powered engagement is on the minds of patients and providers:

  • 29 percent of patients give their providers an “A” for technology-enabled engagement.
  • 95 percent of patients see the benefits of online engagement.
  • Patient access to portals rose from 60 percent in 2016 to 98 percent in 2017.
  • 98 percent of patients feel comfortable communicating with providers via portals.
  • 71 percent of providers say improving patient engagement is a top priority in their organization.
  • 56 percent of providers say technology advancements have made it easier to interact with patients.

Source: CDW 2017 Patient Engagement Perspectives


Patients Are Shopping for Healthcare Services

Clinical care is sandwiched between pre- and post-visit engagement outreach. Patients want the whole package, tailored to their preferences and circumstances. Research suggests that hospitals that deliver a superior healthcare experience tend to have 50 percent higher margins than their peers.

Enhance Engagement — Give Patients Greater Control to Stay Connected

Patients are seeking greater control over their healthcare decisions. For healthcare organizations, a foundational strategy to engage patients along their healthcare journey is to engage the patients where they are. That means reaching patients on their choice of channels, from smart devices to home telephones, from statements delivered through email to paper statements tailored to a customer’s payment profile.

Patient-focused strategies are growing in acute, post-acute and ambulatory care settings, where communication of everything from discharge care instructions to billing notifications is tailored to the patient’s preferences and drives greater adherence and on-time response. All of these “personalized” points of engagement drive patient satisfaction and, ultimately, higher margins.

RevSpring Can Help

Solutions that allow patients to select their preferred communication channels at every stage of engagement — whether by email, paper, phone, text or interactive voice notification — deliver frictionless flexibility.

From the front desk to the back office, every touch point with patients matters. Clinical care, now “sandwiched” between pre-visit scheduling, point-of-service cost estimation and post-service billing, is essential to delivering superior care but is only one component of the patient’s total engagement experience. RevSpring gives providers greater control to manage patient healthcare payment pathways and keep communication lines open.

If you’d like to learn more about our comprehensive patient engagement and billing solutions, we’d love to help you. Request a demo to see how we can help your organization meet your goals.