Digital health and online platforms can educate and influence patients to make the best healthcare decisions, improving relationships and increasing revenue along the way.
Healthcare looks very different from the past, but core patient needs haven’t changed.
Think of all the human touchpoints in a pre-pandemic healthcare journey. Patients would engage in a casual back-and-forth with a pharmacist as they picked up a prescription at the counter. A nurse practitioner might’ve given a helpful tip as the patient exited a check-up.
These small interactions provided major benefits. A quick conversation could influence a patient to schedule a follow-up visit, adhere to a prescription or reach out to another specialist. Those human touchpoints are vanishing with the explosion of digital healthcare, leaving patients with unanswered questions like:
- Why is this treatment important?
- How should I effectively take my medication?
- What’s the next step in my healthcare journey?
Patient engagement has become more essential in the digital health landscape. Digital health platforms unlock something special when they equip patients with the tools, skills and confidence to become actively engaged in their health care. Engaged patients can reap all the benefits of digital care – convenience, accessibility, flexibility – while still arriving at the outcomes that help them the most.
Engaged patients are 3x less likely to have unmet medical needs and 2x as likely to seek care in a timely manner when compared to unengaged patients, according to a study from Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed healthcare journal.
Digital health and online pharma platforms that build effective patient engagement strategies will influence their patients towards the best outcomes, improve patient-provider relationships and increase revenue. Let’s dig deeper:
What is patient engagement?
Patient engagement is the process of educating and influencing patients to make the best healthcare decisions.
Patients have more healthcare options than ever before, and they’re becoming more active in choosing the treatments they want to pursue, the clinicians they prefer to see and the providers they’d like to engage with. As a platform, you of course can’t make decisions on behalf of patients, but you can give them much needed patient engagement solutions to help them along their journey.
Why is patient engagement important?
Effective patient engagement strategies help nearly every stakeholder in the digital healthcare landscape:
Patient engagement improves adherence.
Non-adherence to medication is pricey; it costs the healthcare system $300 billion annually, according to Healthcare Finance Report. Providing patients with more education and guidance will help them understand why their treatments are important – and could help them stick with their prescription.
Patient engagement enhances your brand’s relationship with patients.
Patients will appreciate the patient engagement solutions available in your network. Offering the right tools and patient engagement platforms shows your commitment to better patient outcomes and empower your patients to take an active role in their own well-being.
Patient engagement increases revenue for digital health platforms.
Engaged, proactive patients will be more likely to lead healthy lives. This means fewer ER visits, fewer no-shows and fewer unfilled prescriptions. Patient retention is likely to increase when platforms commit to patient engagement.
The challenges of patient engagement
Achieving these benefits requires investment and effort on the part of digital health and online pharma platforms. There are so many moving parts related to digital transformation. It’s not easy; just 4% of digital product launches from the pharma industry regularly succeed, per Medical Marketing + Media.
Not every patient is willing to adopt a new system or process. Additionally, you might offer the right patient engagement solutions – but struggle to connect patients with those resources. No matter the reason, it’s clear that platforms have to be strategic about how they work towards increasing patient engagement.
Patient engagement strategies & solutions.
In this challenging and fast-moving landscape, what’s the best way for digital health and online pharma platforms to adapt? We have some ideas:
Engage patients at the right time and place.
It’s crucial to meet patients where they are in order to increase engagement. You need a patient engagement solution that reaches patients when they’re already logged into your platform and thinking about their healthcare. This is better than a follow-up call or message when the patient has moved on with their day.
Emphasize empathy and trust.
Those human touchpoints don’t have to vanish completely from the patient journey. It’s essential to inject the guidance of real, empathetic medical professionals. We can mimic the helpful chatter from the pharmacy counter or waiting room with the right patient engagement platform.
Integrate tools and patient engagement platforms.
Don’t take on digital healthcare transformation by yourself! A 2021 survey by NextGen Healthcare showed that 83% of ambulatory healthcare survey respondents feel that patient engagement solutions played a key role in positive patient outcomes and organizational success.
Nurse-1-1: your patient engagement partner
What if you could increase patient engagement by 57% by simply adding a live nurse chat function to your digital health platform?
That’s the story of Nurse-1-1. We’re a HIPAA-compliant patient engagement platform built specifically for digital health and online pharma. Our service connects patients with Nurse-1-1’s nationwide network of nearly 3,000 NPs, RNs, PAs, and MDs, and can easily be embedded into your platform. We help you meet patients where they are to drive positive health outcomes.