Improve Patient Retention With Patient Engagement Software

By: on August 19, 2020

One of the best ways to improve patient retention is to put yourself in your patients’ shoes and think about what they experience during every interaction with your practice. If your patients are experiencing confusion or frustration somewhere during their patient journey, it’s important to address that issue, and patient engagement software is one of the best ways to do so.

With patient engagement software, you’ll have a more complete idea about what your patients experience from scheduling appointments, to getting test results, to being updated on important policy changes.

Improve patient retention by communicating updated policies and procedures

Avoid negative patient interactions by being proactive with your communication. Patient engagement software allows you to share updates about policies and procedures that outline new or important information your patients need to know.

For example: If you have a new contactless check-in process, let your patients know ahead of their appointment to eliminate confusion in the waiting room.

According to the Software Advice COVID-19 Consumer and Employee Impact Survey we ran in June of 2020*, 64% of respondents had either no contact or weren’t sure if they had contact with their primary care provider about updated policies regarding COVID testing and procedures.

Percentage of patients who didn't receive communication from their provider about updates

That large number indicates a disconnect between patients and practice which, especially during the pandemic, is problematic for patient retention as well as the general health of your patients. Patient engagement software gives your practice more options when it comes to providing important updates to patients more quickly and through their preferred communication channels.

Meet your patients where they’re at by using their preferred communication channel

Effective communication is key to patient retention. Think about what information patients need most and be proactive with sharing it.

For example: If you need to communicate about a patient’s lab results, you can use patient engagement software to securely call, text, or email them.

Younger patients might prefer a text letting them know their results are ready while older patients might prefer a call or email. What’s most important is being able to to provide your patients with the option to choose what method they prefer.

This is especially important if your patient needs to take further steps to access their results. For instance, you can alert them that their results are waiting for them on the patient portal while providing them a link to the relevant page. This will reduce confusion and lead to a much smoother process.

Patient engagement software allows communication to be a two-way street. Not only can you connect with your patients the way they want you to, the software also allows them to contact you through whatever method they want. Whether it’s allowing them to use software to schedule appointments instead of calling, or sending an email when they have a question about results or an appointment, providing more options will lead to greater patient retention numbers and higher patient satisfaction.

Give patients control over their personal health with patient engagement software

Patient retention becomes easier when you give your patients more control over their personal health. When your patients have more access and information about their personal health, you’ll increase trust and build a connection that will be hard to replicate at other practices.

Patient engagement software helps you set yourself apart from urgent cares or other practices by keeping your patients updated about important test results and allowing you to easily provide patients with relevant resources such as articles or health plans.

Whatever you choose, you’ll be helping your patients take more control over their personal health and will show them you actively care about them—something they won’t be getting from an urgent care.

Patient retention is crucial for succeeding as a practice

Without taking the time to really think and understand how your patients interact with your practice, you’re potentially losing customers. If you don’t cast a critical eye on the patient experience from start to finish, you’ll never know exactly why certain patients don’t return to your practice. Was it because there was confusion in billing? Did they not understand how to access lab results? Were they confused about what to do during the onboarding process?

Any one of a variety of reasons can lead to a patient moving on, but, luckily, software exists to help you determine and fill in those gaps in your service. In fact, patient engagement software is only one of many types of software out there available for medical practices.

  • Electronic medical record (EMR) software helps create, store, and access medical records digitally for better access and more complete records.
  • Patient portal software gives practices a place for their patients to interact with important information such as upcoming appointments, lab results, and personal health information.
Additional resources:

Survey Methodology

The Software Advice COVID-19 Consumer & Employee Impact Survey was conducted in June, 2020 to understand how the priorities and preferences of people—as consumers, employees, and patients—have shifted due to COVID-19. We surveyed 564 patients making up a representative sample (by age and gender) of the U.S. population.

We worded the questions to ensure that each respondent fully understood the meaning and the topic at hand.

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