The pandemic has taken its toll on everyone, especially those who need continued medical attention.
In the new Clinic to Cloud 2020 Survey: Building a Better Practice Beyond COVID-19, it found that 71% of medical professionals saw an increase in patient anxiety or distress. While the statistics are worrying, there are some strategies medical practices can implement to help empower patients and optimise patient engagement for better continuity of care.
Empower patients with a Patient Portal
Firstly, clinics can enact a Patient Portal that helps patients manage their appointments and gives them access to referrals and test results as and when they come in.
Patryk Kania, Chief Operating Officer at Clinic to Cloud says while patients are anxious and distressed right now, they can become empowered in managing their own health using technology.
“What's interesting here is that 50% of practices are seeing an increase in patient confusion, appointment confusion, and no shows. Now, this particular point is an issue for any speciality. Creating better engagement, smarter workflows helps to solve this problem.
Set up auto-reminders for appointments and follow-ups
Patryk suggests practices should consider tools like automated SMS or email reminders for patients so they don’t forget about an appointment. Integrated with the Patient Portal, this then allows the patient to engage so that they can self manage their own appointment.
“Practices should also provide automated health information at point of care, as well as remotely, give patients access to test results, where appropriate, delivered online, and have an automatic payment processing portal, to reduce chasing and admin and provide the ability to upload personal details straight to a secure online portal prior to an appointment,” he adds.
Inform patients you are doing everything to keep them safe and healthy
It’s also important to give patients the peace of mind that you are doing everything to keep them safe - and communication is key. Mask wearing, regular cleaning of the waiting room and temperature checks are just some examples that show patients that you are going above and beyond to create a safe environment.
“Proactive care is important and practices also need to know who needs to be retargeted or called,” Patryk adds. “They need insights on whether a doctor in the practice has seen this patient, whether a fee estimate has been provided, and whether they have booked a follow up. Clinic to Cloud provides the data for this very targeted approach.”
Read more insights in Clinic to Cloud’s recent survey, 2020 Survey: Building a better practice beyond COVID-19. Download your free copy here.