Patients must be engaged in order to keep them current in their care, assist them to remember appointments, collect feedback, and even encourage them to pay their bills. Manual outreach processes that are dependent on the number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) on hand make it difficult to maintain a devoted, consistent effort.
Distractions abound for patients, making it more difficult than ever to reach them with critical information about their health and motivate them to take necessary action.
As a result of no-shows, reschedulings, phone tags, and other inefficiencies caused by a lack of patient involvement, the schedule might become disorganised and less productive (and hence less reimbursed). It has far-reaching negative effects on everything from costs and income to therapeutic results when patients are not fully engaged.
Make sure your patient outreach program is as effective as possible by implementing proven methods that keep patients interested in their care. The main traps to avoid while developing your practice are just as crucial. Successful patient outreach necessitates judicious and effective use of patient data.
What Exactly Is Patient Outreach?
Outreach to patients, whether human or automated, refers to any form of communication aimed at keeping them informed, improving adherence to treatment regimens, and motivating them to take action. Contacting patients who are overdue for follow-up care or appointments is a common part of this role.
What’s the point of patient outreach if it doesn’t help?
Keeping in touch with patients in between appointments is critical to maintaining a healthy working relationship. Keeping patients well-informed about their health is an important part of patient outreach, and this in turn improves their outcomes and enhances their loyalty to the practice. Keeping patients informed and interested in their own health and your clinic is one way to establish yourself as a valued resource for them.
Your outreach programme doesn’t have to be directly tied to the services you offer in order to be successful. Patients and their families, on the other hand, benefit from the information that is relevant to them. Using the EHR’s clinical criteria, you can divide patients into groups and tailor training content to each section.
Guidelines for a Successful Outreach to Patients
Patient outreach programmes that are reliable, consistent, tailored to each individual patient, and bidirectional are the most effective. Delivering this type of constant message to patients and capturing their reactions to update other systems is made simple by a powerful automation platform.
Take advantage of the latest advancements in technology
Your patient outreach plan should be based on technology and automation, which are both clever and trustworthy. The use of technologies like appointment reminders, broadcast messaging, patient chat, and encrypted messaging can speed up the delivery of essential information to patients.
An important aspect of market-leading software is the ability to configure messages based on the type of appointment (e.g., an appointment with a doctor or a dentist), as well as provider and location.
Educate Your Employees on Patient Outreach
Prepare your team for patient outreach by providing them with resources including training, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and best practices. Automated outreach is essential, but it must be supplemented by a human touch from your employees to create an overall communication strategy that is both effective and human-like to patients.
Methods for Improving Patient Outreach Using Data
Most medical practices, hospitals, and health systems make use of automated technologies like appointment reminders. Health care providers may scale their patient outreach efforts and save money by utilizing the latest technology. Value-based reimbursement schemes can improve community health and well-being while also growing the number of patients they serve by refining outreach activities for those patients.
Data-driven decision-making for patient outreach tactics is facilitated by the use of meaningful patient data. Segmenting patients, charting the patient journey, and tailoring messaging are all examples of ways to use data for this goal.
Organize Patients Into Groups
Developing a successful patient outreach plan requires an understanding of what patients want and how to meet their needs. These patients should be identified and categorized using current data analytics from their electronic health records (EHRs), which include the following criteria:
- Hereditary Diseases
- Social Determinant of Health (SDOH) data
- Utilization History
Map the Patient’s Pathway to Recovery
You may utilize EHR data to see what each group of patients goes through as they travel through your healthcare organization once you’ve identified and categorized them.
Healthcare CRM solutions are typically essential for this step since they may uncover chances for patient involvement all along the way through. At each of these touchpoints, you may fine-tune your outreach strategy.
Improve Communication by Making It More Individualistic
Because healthcare providers talk to patients when they are at their most vulnerable, communications in the industry are already personal. It’s still possible to target a specific outreach project by using data analytics that narrows down the patient categories that you need to reach. Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll be able to tailor your message to meet the requirements of individual patients, regardless of where they are in the healthcare process.
When you use an automated patient outreach solution, you can simply engage with your whole patient population via campaigns distributed via SMS and email, and secure text messages for secure one-on-one patient conversations.
Asthma, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are just some of the chronic ailments that can be addressed via automated messages. In order to encourage people to seek medical attention before conditions worsen and outcomes deteriorate, these messages should be delivered early on in the disease process.
Observe and Make Changes
Healthcare professionals may keep track of and make adjustments to their patient outreach efforts in real-time thanks to outreach software. Automated dashboards are often used to monitor the effectiveness of an outreach strategy by tracking patient responses.
Based on statistics such as keyword trends, response rates, and opt-out rates, you may then alter the plan to improve the message content by making adjustments.