A 2014 patient survey found that more than 75 percent of all patients would like to use digital healthcare services. This is where patient engagement platforms come in. But how can they help? Here are some reasons why digital patient engagement is essential.
What is a Patient Engagement Platform?
A Patient Engagement Platform (PEP) is a digital tool that provides healthcare-related information at the touch of a button and all from the patient’s own device. It provides integrated services such as meal ordering, wayfinding, hospital radio, children's games, appointment check-in and a whole lot more. Overall, this can help make the patient’s journey through the hospital more seamless.
We’ll be discussing this in more depth via the following benefits:
- Allows Greater Transparency About Quality and Outcomes of Care
- Supports People to Live Healthier Lives
- Analytics Promote Smart Spending
- Improves Overall Efficiency and Productivity of Healthcare Teams
- Creates the Highest Quality Healthcare Service
Allows Greater Transparency About Quality and Outcomes of Care
Studies have found that up to 80 percent of what doctors tell patients is forgotten almost immediately and it’s difficult for care providers to deliver an efficient service if the patients aren’t kept in the loop. Digital patient engagement solutions, such as a PEP, can help by giving patients access to more information about their healthcare management.
These digital platforms empower patients with information such as follow-up appointments and post discharge treatments. This allows more transparency, which can reduce inequalities in access, quality of care and outcomes. And overall, this can help to make the patient’s hospital experience much more positive.
Supports People to Live Healthier Lives
We all know that prevention is better than a cure, but many patients still ignore letters posted from the NHS through the post or stare straight past posters and leaflets when waiting at the GP or hospital.
Digital patient engagement allows health promotion messages to be sent directly to the visitors’ and patients’ phones while they’re on site. Not only is it much harder to ignore, but patients can be reminded to book preventative appointments, from vaccinations to check ups, while they’re at the hospital and before they forget.
When patients sign in and connect to the Portal, the Trust can gain valuable data so they can send these targeted messages via email or SMS. And technology has allowed for this to be an automated process too, so the Trust’s staff don’t need to spend time and resources operating it.
Analytics Promote Smart Spending
PEPs allow more than just boosting the patient’s experience with WiFi connectivity and convenience. When patients connect to these platforms, Trusts can gain valuable insight into who is onsite, what age range, how long they stay, what they’re here for and when the busiest times are.
These analytics can help the Trust distribute their resources more efficiently and maximise income from rented retail and hospitality spaces in the process. For example, knowing how long visitors stay and what they want from a hospital in terms of services can help the Trust plan their facilities more effectively.
If you know visitor numbers, behaviours and movements, that means you can sell advertising space on the engagement platform to retail and hospitality businesses that your patients and visitors will find more interesting. Services like these can entertain your visitors by providing them with things to do while they wait (to help pass the time) and help your Trust gain additional income.
Improves Overall Efficiency and Productivity of Healthcare Teams
PEPs present information about the Trust to patients and visitors when they’re onsite. This allows people to make best use of the facilities available onsite, which improves their overall healthcare experience.
But it’s not just that.
By giving visitors access to everything that they need to access instantly, such as the ability to check in to their appointments, order meals if they are an in-patient, see which facilities are available and a digital map of the hospital, people no longer need to ask the staff for assistance.
This then means staff are spending less time tending to non-medical queries, so they can focus on other vital tasks. This improves the overall efficiency and productivity of the healthcare team.
Creates the Highest Quality Healthcare Service
Digital patient engagement solutions allow visitors to access all of the relevant information that they need to - right from their devices, whether it’s a mobile, tablet or laptop. They can check in to appointments and get there on time by consulting a digital map of the hospital. They can see where the onsite cafe is. They can order meals via the platform.
The point is, these platforms allow visitors to obtain the information they need by themselves. They no longer need staff assistance. As well as allowing staff to focus on their vital tasks, visitors are gifted with the power of convenience.
The PEP doesn’t just give patients the information they need. It also serves as an entertainment portal, allowing patients to watch live TV, stream movies, listen to the radio or play games - all from one platform that’s accessed via their own device. This means the patient is more likely to be engaged, entertained and satisfied instead of complaining and being uncooperative, so staff can focus more on helping them recover.
This helps to improve the overall quality of care as patients can access the information they need to stay entertained throughout their hospital journey.
Want to Find Out More?
As we venture further into the digital era, patient engagement has become increasingly important for the healthcare sector. Truthfully, there’s still so much more to know, from the impact digitalisation has on a Trust team’s working efficiency to what the hospitals of the future will look like.
If you’d like to read even more about how WiFi connectivity and PEPs have transformed the healthcare industry, download a copy of our Healthcare Case Study.