Many patients want to be active participants in managing their own healthcare, but working out how to engage them can be a difficult task for health practitioners.
Whether the goal is to heal a broken bone or fight a life-threatening illness, patient engagement is key to successful treatment. So, how do you engage your patients and make them feel motivated to take charge of their own health?
- Be Clear
- Cater To Their Needs
- Set Deadlines and Encourage Accountability
- Work To Enrich Their Experience
To get patients engaged in their own care, they need to be able to follow and contribute to discussions about their wellbeing. Cut out the industry jargon and medical acronyms and communicate to patients on a personal level.
Communicate clearly, in simple terms, with patients and be sure to always check-in to make sure they’re not left lost or confused. A large part of communicating clearly is being precise. Give specific and direct advice or instructions for what patients need to do in order to take control of their healthcare or reach any goals you set out together.
For example, telling a patient they need to change their lifestyle isn’t clear, but advising them to stop smoking, consume fewer units of alcohol and get more sleep is specific and to the point. Avoid framing the goals a patient must reach as advice. Patients need to not only know the end destination but the route they need to take to reach it.
Utilise online tools such as the NHS Apps Library or Patient.info - both are formulated and mediated by healthcare professionals to ensure that the information patients receive is accurate and free of hyperbole. Actively encouraging the use of approved resources not only allows patients an autonomy and understanding of their care but could also reduce their need for an appointment altogether in the future.
Cater To Their Needs
Each patient is different, so it’s important to cater to your patient and their specific needs as much as possible. When you work flexibly to accommodate your patients and take steps to make them feel more comfortable, communication is easier and the barriers stopping them from engaging with their care are broken down.
One example of catering to your patient is to actively involve them in the setting of goals. When you tell someone what to do, they’re not as likely to be able to do it. When you work together with someone to decide what to do and how best to do it in terms of their own capabilities and timeframe, they’re more likely to achieve the goals set. When patients are involved in setting their own goals they’re immediately bought-in to feeling motivated to achieve them.
Another clear and important way to accommodate a patient’s needs is to make them feel as comfortable as possible while in your Trust. Home comforts such as entertainment can help inpatients feel more at home and at ease during their stay in your Trust. Our SPARKⓇ Media package allows patients free access to TV, Radio, games and other services through any WiFi-enabled device with a web browser.
Providing an interactive form of patient entertainment through packages such as SPARKⓇ Media further allows patients to remain independent and engaged. Furthermore, educational NHS resources can be made available through the entertainment solution, meaning answers are never more than a click away.
Set Deadlines and Encourage Accountability
Setting deadlines for your patients to reach certain goals may seem counterproductive and more likely to stress out or demotivate them. But when it comes to engaging them in their own healthcare, the exact opposite is true.
By creating accountability within your targets and goals - which you have worked together to set - you’re giving patients a tangible finish line to work towards. A plan of care and introducing accountability empowers patients, letting them know their health is within their own control.
This encourages active participation and will often lead to more open communication as patients ask questions and become invested in achieving these new goals by the deadlines you’ve collaborated to create.
With resources made available such as educational health videos or links to NHS information, the ownership and responsibility patients can take will help them feel more in control.
Work To Enrich Their Experience
There are many things that can make a patient’s experience unsatisfactory or even stressful when visiting a hospital for an appointment or staying for a longer term as an inpatient. Getting lost in the hallways, checking in for appointments, feeling isolated from loved ones outside of visiting hours and general boredom can leave patients feeling agitated or anxious.
Fortunately, the answer to many of the common patient complaints can be fixed with a Patient Engagement Platform that works to the individual needs of your Trust.
Patient Engagement Platforms come in a variety of forms, facilitating access through free to use guest access WiFi to a bespoke online platform. From hospital maps to the means to check into an appointment, the platform can be personalised to respond to the changing needs of your facility.
Platforms can be added to, allowing integrations in the future to keep the system at the forefront of digital healthcare. For example, you may work to provide free entertainment one year and then add on meal ordering and survey functionality the next year. By keeping these systems relevant and right up to date, you can ensure patients and visitors are getting the latest and very best experience, enriching their time with you.
The Right Tools For The Job
Whether you want to give your patients a better experience through secure and reliable WiFi, keep them comfortable and entertained through on-demand media streaming or learn more about them to adapt to their needs and expectations, this quiz can help you find the perfect solution.
Click the banner below to take part now and find the right solution to cure your current patient engagement challenges.