6 Myths about the Benefits of Patient Engagement Solutions

September 22, 2022 | Stericycle Communication Solutions

Patient engagement solutions facilitate active care participation, but several myths persist that hinder their adoption and implementation.

Patients have come to expect their healthcare providers will deliver the same level of convenience they experience shopping online with consumer brands that are driven by personalization, choice, and loyalty. With increasing patient expectations, innovative patient engagement solutions are a must have, not a nice to have. Patient engagement solutions incentivize patients to actively participate in care in a way that is unique to the individual. However, barriers and misconceptions about patient engagement persist.

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We’ve uncovered six myths that are preventing providers from committing to patient engagement solutions. Read the first of our two-part series to learn more.

Myth #1:Patient engagement solutions have an “unclear” benefit for patients

Better patient outcomes is one of the most valuable benefits for patients that patient engagement solutions provide. Patient engagement has a positive impact on emotional health, symptom resolution, functioning, pain control, and physiologic measures such as blood pressure and blood sugar. Providers can increase patient engagement by helping them stay informed of their care options, adhere to treatment plans, and reduce friction during the care journey.

In a 2021 patient engagement survey conducted by Stericycle Communication Solutions, 71 percent of respondents said that multiple reminders help them keep track of appointments. By providing reminders, directions to office locations, appointment preparation information, and other details, providers can successfully guide patients on their journey and improve health outcomes over time.

Myth #2:Patient engagement solutions have an “unclear” benefit for providers

For providers, patient engagement solutions help to optimize schedules, reduce no-shows, and aid in increasing revenue. By shepherding patients in their care journey, increasing adherence to treatment regimens, and providing specialist referrals and diagnostics scheduling, an effective engagement solution helps retain patients, keeping them in your health system.

For example, Missouri-based health system Ascension achieved a 72.5 percent increase in online urgent care scheduling that drove 100,000 additional visits in a year-over-year comparison. Also, according to a guide from AHRQ, patient and family engagement can improve multiple hospital performance factors including quality, safety, patient outcomes, and employee satisfaction.

Myth #3:Patient engagement solutions are not HIPAA compliant and not secure

The most common excuse among healthcare’s slowest adopters of patient engagement solutions is concerns about HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance. While it’s true that two-way communication and data flow among multiple users requires rigorous cybersecurity and digital hygiene practices, well-designed patient engagement solutions exceed the legal and ethical obligations for keeping patient data secure.

The most critical features of security include two-factor authentication to access sensitive information, data encryption, and rigorous entitlement review that ensures people only have access to information that is required for them to do their job. Also, personal health information should be securely housed and encrypted, accessible only by authorized users through gated links.

With patient engagement options as diverse as their patient populations, health systems have an opportunity to meet their patients where they are to effectively activate them on their healthcare journey.

Patients are ready to engage meaningfully in their healthcare—they just need the invitation and clear access point to do so. Modern patient engagement solutions make it easy for health systems and providers to extend that invitation before someone else does.

Stay tuned in October for second part of this blog where we will dispel three more patient engagement myths — discussing customization, patient preferences, and multichannel communication solutions.

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