What Inspires Patients to Become Engaged in Their Own Health?
It Starts with Analytics
So, you’ve set up your portal, launched your app, and rebranded your healthcare organization to align with today’s industry’s trends. Now, how do you inspire your patients to become engaged in their own health?
We’re creatures of habit, right? But, we also love new, helpful information in bite-sized chunks. The key is knowing what information is most valuable to your patient, and presenting that information in a way that’s easy to digest and doesn’t feel invasive to their daily routine. Enter analytics.
The goal is to convert your raw clinical data into actionable insights that will inspire patient engagement. Here are some key data points to consider:
- Date of last visit
- Reason for visit
- Current treatment/medication(s)
- Current risk(s)
- Marital status
- Household members and their age(s)
- Annual income
Now, stop thinking about them as data points. They’re individuals. That means it’s time to start asking humanizing questions about their individual health.
- How did their last appointment go?
- What was the reason they came to visit you?
- Did something happen?
- Will they need additional care?
- What are their immediate concerns?
- Long-term concerns?
These are the types of questions that create an opportunity for engagement—that lead to additional conversations—and can transform one patient touch point into a loyal, lifelong patient ambassador. Enter patient journey mapping.
The moments following their appointment are the perfect opportunity for you to engage with them. You’ll want to put them on a patient journey that is specific to who they are and the healthcare information that they’ll find most valuable. And, communicate with them through the channels that they prefer.
I know this sounds daunting, but trust me; this is the key to patient engagement. Here are a handful of journey maps to consider:
- Single parent of a child with asthma
- Adult caregiver to aging parent(s)
- Teenage cancer patient
- Senior living independently
- Retired veteran
- First-time parent
- Newly diagnosed diabetic
- Adult smoker with first-time health scare
You’ll want to review your clinical data and talk with your department care teams to identify prospective journey maps. Depending on your healthcare organization’s size and focus, you may have as few as 15 journey maps or more than 50. This analysis may also lead to the creation of additional data fields and questions on your intake form. This is a good thing!
Next, work with your care team and marketing department to design 12-month journey maps. These should include a combination of touch points that are appropriate for the individual on the journey. Here are some examples to consider:
- Automatic email invite to download app
- Text alert to login to patient portal
- Direct mail piece with list of upcoming “smoker” support group events
- Phone call from nurse to learn about “managing diabetes”
- Push notification to enroll in monthly “first-time parent” newsletter
- Phone call from child life specialist for a “get-to-know-you” chat
How does this lead to patient engagement? The more we can engage with individuals along their patient journey, the more engaged they will become in their own health and the healthier they will be.