We have passed the age where a patient’s engagement with his or her healthcare consists of a recommended annual “check up,” the bulk of which may be spent in the waiting room. Patients are actively seeking to understand their health and now expect deeper connections with their care providers. A recent Deloitte survey uncovered the three key areas where patient engagement is seeing the greatest momentum.
1. Use of Technology
The use of technology by healthcare providers is paramount, from iPads for documentation to advanced surgical tools. Patients’ use of technology, however, has also increased substantially. In the last two years, the number of patients using tools to understand and monitor their care has grown from 17% to 28%. Additionally, patients have come to expect that providers will be in tune with new technologies in the industry.
2. Provider Interaction
When you are quite literally putting your life in another’s hands, it is only natural to hope for a meaningful relationship with that person. Patients do not want care providers to be just a “warm body” floating in and out of the room during hospital stays. Instead, patients want a high level of communication and engagement with caregivers, knowing that their voices are being heard and respected. Patients are also more involved with the entire care process by researching their conditions and asking questions about their care.
3. The Power of the Internet
The survey conducted by Deloitte revealed that patients are becoming more trusting of the information that they find online. Whether they are reading highly academic sources or less informed blogs, more than half of patients are using the Web for healthcare information.
How do these findings impact the healthcare industry? Understanding where patients are most involved with care helps providers develop effective strategies and best practices for patient engagement. For example, with the growing use of technology, facilities can be confident that a tool for enhancing communication between patients and caregivers is a worthy and important investment. Additionally, providers know that the internet is a valuable medium to share information with a large number of patients.
Patient engagement is a critical trend in healthcare. To learn more about proven tools to engage with your patient population, contact us today.