Successful patient engagement is often a top priority for healthcare providers. Solid engagement improves patient experiences and health outcomes, while also boosting loyalty and retention rates for your practice. Engaged patients are more likely to book follow-up appointments, show up for preventative visits, and are quicker to reach out to their provider when sick.
Strategies to improve engagement can include investing in web design and marketing to connect with patients, offering telehealth services, and implementing automated tools for payments and appointment reminders. Unfortunately, it can be easy to discount the importance of measuring and understanding the effects of these engagement strategies due to the more immediate demands of running a practice.
However, measuring and adjusting patient engagement strategies can pay enormous dividends. If you’re looking to get the most out of your efforts, these indicators are a great place to begin measuring engagement levels at your practice.
How patients interact with your online tools and content can provide valuable insight into engagement levels. If you use a telehealth platform or offer an online portal for your patients, tracking the usage of features like online booking, symptom checkers, and messaging apps can help you understand what tools are providing value. Digital metrics will also highlight where some extra attention to patient communication might be needed if features are being underutilized.
Pay attention to the performance of patient communications themselves as well. Tracking open rates for newsletters, email reminders, and other content can give you an understanding of how patients are engaging, and what kind of information is resonating.
Cancellation rates can be a valuable indicator of patient engagement, especially when contextualized with other factors. If you’re seeing a change in cancellations over time, this could be due to changes in wait times, access to practitioners, or patient experiences. By actively measuring cancellation rates, you will gain more visibility into what changes may benefit your practice, whether that is online scheduling tools to streamline appointment-making or hiring more providers to satisfy demand.
Where cancellation rates can indicate pre-visit patient engagement, unpaid balances are one way to measure how engagement continues post-visit. It can be easy to assume the patient billing experience and their quality of care as entirely separate. But a poorly communicated and convoluted payment process can entirely compromise a patient’s overall experience.
Late and unpaid bills may indicate improvements to post-visit patient engagement are possible. Transparent pricing structures, clear and accurate statements, and online payment options can improve the billing process, which is essential for building strong patient retention rates.
Use Surveys Effectively
All of the above metrics will provide valuable insights, but often the best way to measure patient engagement is to consistently ask for feedback right from your patients themselves. Post-visit surveys can offer a great look into what is working and where there may be opportunities to improve your practice’s patient engagement.
The quicker you can get a survey to patients after their appointment, the better. Automated text or email messages that go out after the conclusion of a telehealth appointment will get higher response rates and more accurate data, as the experience is still fresh in your patients’ minds.
Ask the Right Questions
Don’t waste your time crafting surveys that won’t provide valuable insights to tangibly improve your practice and the experiences of your patients. Fewer questions will get more survey responses, so aim for quality, targeted questions over quantity.
Some survey questions to consider include:
- How easy was it for you to book an appointment?
- How would you rate the quality of care you were provided?
- How likely are you to recommend our services to friends or family?
- How likely are you to choose telemedicine for your next appointment?
- Was the billing and payment process clear and easy to understand?
- Is there anything we could have done to improve your experience?
Optimize Your Practice’s Patient Engagement
Heally’s telehealth software offers online booking, automated appointment reminders, curated weekly newsletters, a streamlined billing process, and more. Patient engagement becomes effortless, giving you more time to focus on delivering quality care.
Boost patient experiences and loyalty at your alternative health clinic: schedule a demo of Heally’s telehealth solutions today!