Today, patients research well about their health issues, doctors and hospitals before approaching for the treatment. Digitization and smart mobile apps play a prominent role in educating patients, reminding them of dosage, appointments, etc., communicating with doctors and thus improving patient engagement.
Let’s consider an example.
Jennifer gets a reminder text from the hospital app for her second appointment. After she meets the doctor on the decided time, the doctor types her details on his system and fetches all her medical history. Jennifer need not carry any of her prescriptions and reports. These records are shared with her through the hospital app so that she can remain updated about her health progress. Jennifer can ask any of her doubts to her doctor through this app. This transparent and proactive process builds trust in Jennifer.
We can notice how digitalization is shaping the future of healthcare. It has become necessary to leverage technology in healthcare and healthcare management systems like electronic medical records (EHR) and practice management systems are utilized for this.
Patient Engagement and its Rising Significance:
Patient engagement refers to the actions taken and the tools implemented for engaging the patients, doctors, and other healthcare providers to ensure improved health outcomes. It involves informing the patients about their health conditions, possible treatments, recuperation, etc. and involving them in decisions like booking appointments, remote monitoring of health conditions, etc. It needs the willingness, knowledge and skills of patients to be involved in this process and the decision making. For example, with the use of patient scheduler mobile apps, patients can themselves decide their appointments as per their convenient time. Likewise, the healthcare management systems help in the gathering of important medical data and enable many important functions in healthcare.
Significance of patient engagement is on rising due to several reasons as given below:
- When patients are informed about their health and encouraged to take the decision for them using technology, they feel important and trusted and prefer your treatment as compared to others.
- Increased knowledge of the healthcare data allows the doctors to treat the patients in a more effective manner.
- Time and efforts of both care providers and patients are saved.
- Along with better patient care and overall patient retention, patient engagement has several financial benefits as well.
How to achieve patient engagement using technology?
By integrating mobile and web-based healthcare solutions, hospitals and clinics can proactively execute different types of engagement strategies to deliver patient-centric care. Many hospitals and clinics have already started employing various methods, as follows, to engage the patients and improve the patient experience.
Doctor-patient communication apps
Personalizing interactions with patients is an effective way of engaging them. There are doctor-patient communication apps using which the patients can discuss their health issues. This personalization is important for engaging patients.
Doctor on-demand apps/patient scheduler apps
Using the doctor on-demand apps or the patient scheduler apps, the patients get in charge and can schedule their appointments as per their availability. Patients can select the doctors based on their specialty, location, and fees. These apps also sent reminders to patients.
For instance, Phlex65 is an on-demand healthcare app which allows the senior citizens to hire qualified caregivers in their area for daily care activates as well as emergency help.
Electronic medical records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMRs)
All the accurate and up-to-date medical reports and records are saved digitally using EHRs and EMRs. Even the patients have access to this data using the medical apps which build trust in them. Letting the patients access their medical data increases the efficiency of care as the staff can work in collaboration with the patients.
Vaccine reminder mobile app
Vaccine reminder app keeps the track of different vaccinations of the children or patients and sends reminders before time. Such apps are also used for providing health advice.
Medical apps for doctors and patients have a vast number of benefits for healthcare providers. A healthcare practice that is completely engaged with patients, yields more effective results, right from scheduling the appointment to providing e-prescriptions and online medical assistance. By utilizing mobile and web-based healthcare solutions, an organization gets the benefit of organizational competitiveness as well.