3 ways technology can jumpstart patient engagement
- Posted on May 3, 2021
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
The effects of COVID-19 have been felt far and wide, but individual health consumers may feel the impact the longest. Safety concerns and closures led many to delay routine healthcare. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that more than half of adults skipped or postponed medical or dental appointments during the first few months of the pandemic.
We know that delays in care can have harmful effects on health. Of those who reported skipping or postponing medical care, 14% say their medical condition worsened due to delaying treatment.
But pandemic-related care delays have also had an impact beyond individual health. They’ve created financial challenges for providers and placed added pressure on marketing teams to nurture patients back for visits.
Despite the problems caused by COVID-19, we believe the health system as a whole can benefit from another offshoot of the pandemic: a sharp rise in healthcare consumerism. Our research shows that 60% of people want to use technology, digital tools and communication to own and manage their personal health and wellness journey.
By using technology in the right ways, you can improve the overall care experience and reengage people in their healthcare — both in-person and virtually.
Using technology to attract, retain and engage patients
As vaccines ramp up and cases begin to trend down, patients are expected to grow increasingly comfortable returning to traditional healthcare settings. If you’re ready to welcome patients back for routine screenings, tests and elective procedures, you may want to consider a tech-enabled approach to outreach.
The right tools can offer your patients convenience and greater access while also helping you with segmentation, personalization and automation for targeted campaigns and communications. To figure out what’s best for your organization, you must ask some critical questions, like:
- What’s your strategy for getting people back through your doors and helping them feel safe?
- How will you differentiate yourself from the competition?
- How will you stay connected to your patient throughout their health journey?
With these questions in mind, consider using technology to your advantage to attract, retain and engage patients. Here are three ways:
- Develop a proactive outreach
Whether you’re trying to reengage patients who missed or delayed care, remind existing patients they’re due for a screening or attract new patients, you’ll want to be proactive in your outreach.
Patients who put off appointments need to know about the safety precautions you have in place so they feel comfortable returning to you for care. Automated education-based communications can be used to ease their minds and prompt appointment rescheduling.
Routine screening appointments can be encouraged using tech-enabled segmentation strategies and communications tailored to specific groups.
You can engage new patients by pairing intelligent technology with purchased databases to build detailed patient profiles. This enables targeted messages that are relevant to their healthcare needs and interests.
- Create personalized communications
Did a patient or potential patient click on an ad, email link or social media post? Do you know what they did next?
Artificial intelligence-powered technology can help you create a 360-degree view and insights about a patient from electronic medical records (EMRs) and other systems that track their interactions with your health network.
By understanding how someone found you and what they’re searching for, you can create a timeline of their actions and deliver the information they seek in a personalized way that meets their needs.
- Deliver ongoing value
Once someone has decided to turn to you for care, you must demonstrate that you can deliver value throughout their health journey. Using automation technology, you can send pre- and post-procedure communications and surveys, and then report results and analytics about the patient’s experience. If you deliver these communications through a patient’s preferred communications channels, you can reduce no-shows and drive loyalty.
An intelligent marketing and engagement solution
At Avanade, we offer an intelligent patient engagement solution for providers. We’ve helped many providers — large and small — develop strategies for improved patient experience by using technology to offer a patient-centric approach.
Our collaborative work with one large health care provider has created a sense of personal service, attention, deep relationships and trust in all interactions. This has helped it deliver on its brand promise to the people and communities it serves.
If you think it’s time to revisit your patient engagement strategy, Avanade can help. Learn more about our approach to patient engagement and other top challenges facing health and life sciences today or connect with one of our experts.