Patient Engagement Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: June 04, 2023
Patient Engagement Software—How to Pick the Right Package for You
You practice medicine in an advantageous age: Technology impacts all areas of your work, so you’re probably automating procedures more and more.
Here’s the important question for today: Have you upgraded to a proper patient engagement software package yet? Below we’ll discuss the why, what and how to get you on par.
Why Invest in Patient Engagement Software?
Here’s your short answer: Patient engagement software minimizes what you spend on administration in terms of:
- Time, such as how long you spend writing notes
- Energy, for example the number of times your staff members walk between filing cabinets daily
- Resources, because you’ll use less paper
However, the impact goes much further.
Here’s a challenge you may not be aware of: The patients you work with don’t only see the benefits of the technologically advanced age is privileges; They view it as their rights. And if you don’t provide what they need, they’ll move on to a health practitioner who does.
That’s today’s truth: The health care industry isn’t only about caring for patients, but also about managing their perspectives about you. Business, marketing and patient (customer) care are as important as the health insights you provide.
And what today’s patients (customers) want is engagement. They’re so used to interacting with service providers, friends and companies online, they expect the same from their doctors. While your patient engagement software will make your life easier, it will also attract more patients; That makes this an important long term investment and one you should consider when vetting EHR providers.
How Does it Differ from General Patient Portal Software?
A similar (but not the same) software feature is called a patient portal. However, this option only provides some engagement between physician and patients.
With engagement software you can do so much more, such as:
- Managing patient relationship
- Automating billing features
- Run marketing via the system
- Manage your practice
- Offer educational services and information to patients who log in
It’s a comprehensive and helpful add on to your EHR. Here’s how you pick the right one for your practice.
Types to Consider
First off you can allocate them to categories and pick the one that suits your setup.
- Cloud or on-site: For cloud based systems you don’t need to invest capital in servers and your information should be accessible from anywhere. Just make sure the data belongs to you, if you ever terminate your contract. Alternatively your data can be kept on servers, but make sure you have backups stored in a safe place.
- Will you go mobile?: This is becoming a pre-requisite, so make sure you AND your patients can access the software via your SmartPhones. You’ll get more engagement as people often prefer this to working on their computers. It will also help them make bookings when there’s an emergency or pay a bill while they’re traveling.
- Size matters: Align the scope of the software with your practice size. Some are designed to benefit small practices (less than five professionals), while others work more effectively for large setups such as clinics (25 pros or more). You don’t want to waste money because you’re investing in something with irrelevant features.
And what features do you need? Here are some of the most important ones.
The Features You Need
Read through the features most physicians value. You’ll quickly see that these don’t simply make your days run smooth; It can improve the quality of the care you provide.
Today’s consumer values effective communication in order to stay informed. A messaging service helps you save time on telephone calls while allowing a free flow of information between you and the people in your care.
Part of staying informed is managing an appointment schedule. When you use this modern method it saves everyone time as your patients don’t have to call your practice; They simply book via the software. Sending reminder messages also means less time is wasted on no show patients, or latecomers.
Billing Made Easy
This benefits all parties: If you provide easy payment options you’ll see more accounts settled, increasing your bottom line. Your patients can handle their payments as soon as the software informs them via digital account sending, so they won’t forget to do it later. When you shorten revenue cycles it leads to saving money.
All Your Patients’ Documents in One Place
This helps you from the very first day of engaging with a patient. He or she can complete registration forms online so it instantly becomes part of your systems. In future all lab results, reports and bills are kept in one place for either party to access. Patients appreciate being able to view information or to share it with another health care provider where necessary.
Educate for Better Results
Here’s how you provide better care: Help your patients understand their situations and take care of themselves more effectively. With this software educational documents can be sent or accessed easily.
As long as you have permission to, you can send information regarding your practice to your patients. Sharing news about practice developments can assure patients you’re staying at the cutting edge of your niche.
Waste Less Time on Prescription Management
You probably have many patients asking for prescriptions; And then you have to remember to write them when you have a spare moment. Why not do them online, submit them with pharmacies where necessary and keep your patients smiling thanks to a streamlined process?
Before you sign the contract, ask your service provider these questions to ensure you get a valuable product:
- Is it HIPAA compliant?
- Will it integrate with your current EHR?
- What kind of support does the company offer?
- How user friendly is it? (A demo which your staff can view and comment on would be a bonus)
Isn’t this what proper health care should look like: Consideration for physicians as well as their patients. Pick software that suits your practice and enjoy the benefits from now on.