Patients interact with your Health System at multiple touch points along their care journey, so how you engage matters. Plus, today’s generation grew up in a connected world. This means Health Systems must adapt their communication strategies and potentially adopt new patient engagement tools. 

By engaging patients in a way that’s aligned with their expectations, Health Systems can ensure greater patient satisfaction and loyalty. But how do you know if your communication strategy is aligned with patients’ expectations? We’ll tell you in this blog. Patientco recently surveyed a national sample of patients and providers. This survey revealed how patients actually perceive communication and how providers approach patient communication.

patient engagement tools reportChallenges of Deploying New Patient Engagement Tools

First and foremost, providers are slow to implement new patient engagement tools because they are uncertain of patient adoption. This was one of the first things that jumped out at us in the survey results. In fact, uncertainty about patient adoption is more of a barrier for deploying new technology than lack of funding! However, patients overwhelmingly reported that they prefer digital communication tools, like email and text. More than 70% of patients stated they want digital communications over paper. Shouldn’t a statistic like this address providers’ concerns about patient adoption? Honest insights from patients, like those found in our survey report, should help inform providers’ future technology initiatives.

 

Which Patient Engagement Tools Are Providers Piloting?

So we know patients want digital communication tools, but which patient engagement tools are providers actually piloting? For nearly 20% of providers, that tool would be propensity-to-pay scoring models. As healthcare costs rise, a growing number of patients have trouble affording their medical bills. Adopting propensity-to-pay scoring models can give providers a way to address this. This works by tailoring communications and payment options based on a patient’s willingness and ability to pay. One thing to note: propensity-to-pay models work best when they consider a patient’s medical payment history, not just their consumer payment history or credit score. That’s because consumer payment behavior is not a great predictor of medical payments behavior. A recent McKinsey study found that consumers put paying medical bills almost dead last in their list of bills, only beating out entertainment and discretionary bills!

How Are Patients Using Portals?patient engagement tools - report

We were also curious about how patients are using portals. After all, when patient engagement tools are mentioned, patient portals are one of the first tools that come to mind. The number one reason patients use portals is to access test and lab results. More than have of patients have accessed a portal to do so. Meanwhile, more than 40% of patients have used their portal to pay a healthcare bill and nearly one-third of patients have used it to schedule a new visit.

Our survey report, “The Rules of Engagement: Perspectives from Patients & Providers” is full of insights like the ones we covered in this blog. Check it out to gain a better understanding of patients’ communication expectations so you can engage more effectively. Download the complete report here.