The challenges faced by the healthcare sector since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have been something never experienced before.Many hospitals stretched beyond capacity and had scarcity in resources, which led to burnout amongst the medical professionals and the healthcare staff. But in all this chaos, hospitals also learned about behavioral health needs, losing equity gaps, and providing personalized care.
As we head into the post covid world, patient engagement trends and technological innovations are going be the key drivers to delivering healthcare digital transformation.
While looking into the future of patient engagement, the healthcare experts also learned about the evolving needs for healthcare digitization, such as telehealth or virtual care.
By analyzing the healthcare disparities in almost two years of the pandemic, you will need to look at the gaps in the healthcare facilities.
As a part of the healthcare future innovations, you will also need to reconsider the exchange of knowledge and increase communication between your facility and patients to build your digital front door strategy.
Patient Engagement Trends for The Care Continuum
Patient engagement trends revolve around future healthcare innovations that can provide frictionless experiences across various care touchpoints. The methods to increase patient engagement are rapidly evolving, which will shift the focus of strategies on self-management, self-care, and self-monitoring.
As per the Grandview research report, the global market size for patient engagement solutions was estimated at USD 16.6 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 17.4% from 2022 to 2030.
1. The Convergence of Omnichannel Patient Marketing and Patient Services
When it comes to patient engagement trends, omnichannel healthcare is now a fundamental part of healthcare digitization that helps patients obtain a unified pathway to improve their overall experience across the care continuum.
Omnichannel patient services provide a pathway for the patients to have more control over their health outcomes and openly communicate with doctors. Omnichannel healthcare also helps doctors restructure routine workflows such as patient visits and other works related to patient management.
Patient communication and marketing play a capital role in helping patients and providing a better understanding of drug therapy to the doctors and nurses. You can use marketing strategies to educate, engage, and onboard your patients much earlier to ensure better health.
The leading model today of establishing a “single source of truth” for patient information and a consistent patient experience is to migrate all processes, data, and integrations to a consolidated company-owned patient engagement architecture and platforms consisting of:
- Patient marketing technology platforms to educate and engage patients early in the disease life cycle
- Patient services platforms to provide key patient program services and support
- Patient master and consent platforms to keep the data current, reliable, compliant, and appropriately used
- Data management and integration platforms to manage, distribute, and protect patient data
- Third-party patient services plug-ins for supplemental patient services such as copay card acceptance, Sharps kit fulfillment, or samples delivery
- Wearable and mobile devices that help patients, families, and care providers stay tightly connected and coordinated throughout the patient journey
2. Healthcare Staffing Crisis to Drive Next Wave of Digital Health Acceleration
Having better staffing in your healthcare facility is essential to promote a safer environment for doctor and patient care.
As the pandemic progressed, virtual care increased, but hospitals also experienced staffing shortages. Lesser staff created a challenging case for doctors to run their businesses.
In a report published in U.S. News, several regions in the United States reported more than 40% of staffing shortages.
With increased healthcare of patients amid staffing shortages, healthcare organizations will experience a surge in digital healthcare.
By adopting digital technologies, you can overcome the staffing shortage and increase productivity and capacity. Here are ways to make that possible:
- Eliminate redundancies and mundane tasks by adopting automation
- This might seem like a bigger investment at the start, but the potential return on investments can make it worthwhile as automation will help your organization lower full-time labor requirements
Digitization can unlock value for hospitals, staff and patients by using sophisticated math and continual learning algorithm. This system will make rapid and automated decisions matching the supply and demand of your hospitals every single day.
3. AI Driven Digital Transformation to Drive the Next Wave of Patient Engagement
To enhance the patient experience, you need to prioritize digitization and automation processes. Healthcare automation will help transform your industry as it simply works in the background without requiring constant attention by your staff.
Automation helps to reduce healthcare costs and operational efficiencies. It also helps to increase smart work and streamline critical processes.
For example, you can incorporate AI to mimic human behavior for repetitive or rule-based processes. This, in turn, will reduce the time utilized to complete tasks, perform repetitive operations, improve your patient experience, and lower costs.
You can automate or digitize almost everything in your facility, from filling applications to routine doctor appointments via telehealth, AI, etc. This will help encourage deeper engagement of your patients with their doctors and increase patient satisfaction. Digitization and automation help to reshape your patient experience in the following ways:
- Seamless scheduling, rescheduling, or cancellation of appointments
- Early response to queries
- Better and personalized care
- A more timely and accurate diagnosis that helps in slowing or stopping disease progression
- Complete, consistent, and error-free electronic health records
- Automatic data-storing, which allows is easy accessibility to the medical professionals
Here are a few ways how you can digitize or automate hospital processes:
- Implement AI-powered healthcare chatbots so that you can improve patient interaction, provide real-time critical information, and optimize hospital workflow
- Use telehealth or virtual care so that your doctors can manage disease conditions by eliminating unwanted patient contact or unnecessary traveling
- Implement automation in revenue-cycle management, such as pre-claim, reporting of claim status, or transactions and accounts receivable follow-ups
Use robotic process automation with machine learning capabilities to automate patient documentation, generate billing and invoices without involving the healthcare staff
4. Emphasis on Physician-Patient Care Collaboration Continues
The health and wellness of your patients largely depend on successful communication. A practical and compassionate connection is key to building a successful patient-doctor relationship.
The current burden on healthcare facilities demands increasing clinicians’ productivity and managing more patients in less time. This hinders the effectiveness of patient-doctor communication. To bridge the gap between your doctors and patients, your facility can implement:
- Patient-centered interviews
- Shared decision making
- Caring communication skills
- Involve experienced nurses or physician assistants
Open communication helps doctors obtain complete information, which directs them to get an accurate diagnosis. Also, appropriate counseling to discuss the treatment further improves patient adherence to treatment and achieves long-term health benefits.
You must encourage patient engagement trends for population health and shared decision making at each step of care, such as:
- Diagnostic methods
- Post-surgery care
- Continued self-care
5. Healthcare Consumerism Continues to Reign
The concept of healthcare consumerism focuses on more efficient and cost-effective care delivery. In addition, Healthcare consumer engagement aims to involve patients thoroughly in the decision-making process.
In contrast, the healthcare system presents confusing choices without any upfront pricing information for the services. To avoid this confusion, you must focus on providing value and convenience.
You must drive patient engagement by increased transparency related to services and pricing and high-quality services. As you begin to focus more on value-based healthcare rather than quantitative care, the patient-care and doctor compensation will transform profoundly. With consumerism on the rise, you will be able to generate a more efficient and cost-effective system.
6. Using Historical Data to Drive Better Patient Experiences
As the healthcare industry becomes more patient-centric, patients expect a retail-like experience from them. In the coming years, catering to patient expectations and delivering seamless experiences will be critical for healthcare organizations to succeed. The patient engagement technology trends use data analytics to innovate care delivery in the following ways:
Sentiment analysis: By analyzing data from social media, feedback, and surveys, problems can be identified, and new processes can be evolved to make patient experiences even better.
Risk Prediction: With the help of predictive analytics, risks to patients can be forecasted, and necessary steps can be taken beforehand.
Proactive interventions: Using data, the best care and treatment options that have worked successfully in the past can be identified. This would help save time and many precious lives.
Personalized recommendations: The one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to healthcare delivery. Customer expectations are pretty high today, and they expect bespoke services from their healthcare providers. Making communication between patients and their healthcare organizations personalized and relevant leads to a higher brand value and ROI.
7. Real Time Remote Diagnosis to be an Integral Part of Patient Engagement
Internet of medical things (IoMT) enables wearable devices to monitor your patient’s health status in real-time. IoT-based wearables help monitor patient vitals and send alerts to their doctors during critical situations.
Healthcare providers can easily implement this methodology in their daily routine. All they need to do is connect telehealth with IoMT devices and do real-time monitoring.
Real-time remote diagnosis will benefit your healthcare facility in the following ways:
- High-quality health outcomes
- Accurate, in-depth, and faster diagnosis
- Better treatment
- Convenient for remote patients
Hybrid care models for remote patient monitoring allow patient-first and lower-cost experiences. It will be no surprise if this year is filled with digital opportunities and healthcare innovations. As your patients demand more significant value, quality service, transparency, and timely and convenient care, this year will mark a brighter spotlight on improving positive outcomes for the patient engagement ecosystem.