Patients have become knowledgeable and empowered healthcare consumers in a world where useful information is readily available. No longer restricted to merely receiving medical care, patients are demanding convenient customer experiences from their healthcare provider, such as streamlined communication channels, instant access to reports, and scheduling visits.
At present, patients are even willing to switch clinics if they are dissatisfied with the services they get.
As a result, healthcare providers are looking for creative ways to connect with their patients, especially during these challenging times. To achieve this, many are exploring digital solutions to help bridge the gap between them and their patients.
In this article, we'll explore some advanced tools healthcare providers can use to enhance patient experience and foster long-term relationships.
What is patient engagement?
Patient engagement refers to the active involvement of patients in their healthcare decisions and treatment plans, intending to achieve better healthcare outcomes.
It involves the healthcare providers working together as a team to make informed decisions, set goals, and manage the patient's health.
The core principles of patient engagement healthcare apps include:
- Informing patients about their health conditions
- Activating patients to take an active role in their care
- Coaching patients to develop self-management skills
- Supporting patients through the process
- Collaborating with patients to make informed decisions
- Co-creating care plans with patients to meet their unique needs.
Why are patient engagement healthcare apps important?
In addition to a better patient experience, enhanced patient engagement in healthcare apps has several benefits. Some of these benefits include the following:
1. Improved healthcare outcomes
When patients actively make decisions about their healthcare and treatment plans, they experience better outcomes. They become more aware of their conditions and also get motivated to stick to their treatment plans.
2. Informed and empowered patients
Patient engagement healthcare apps help to inform and empower patients, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health. This leads to patients actively managing their health, eventually leading to a better patient experience.
3. Staff time optimization
These apps can also optimize staff time, allowing healthcare providers to spend more time on complex cases. Patients who are informed and empowered require less time to manage their care, freeing up staff time and improving efficiency.
4. Personalized care
Personalized care is a crucial aspect of patient experience — it allows providers to tailor their plans to meet the specific needs of individual patients. Healthcare apps for patient engagement enable providers to create custom care plans that include detailed instructions for medication management, physical therapy, wound care, and other aspects of home care.
Top patient engagement healthcare apps
Healthcare providers are constantly striving to enhance patient experience and satisfaction. The good news is that there are numerous patient engagement healthcare apps available that can aid in achieving these goals.
Rocket.Chat is an open-source messaging platform that enables secure communication between patients and healthcare organizations of all sizes. The platform offers multiple features, including high customizability, enhanced collaboration, and solid privacy, making it an ideal choice for healthcare providers looking for a scalable and reliable solution.
Rocket.Chat enhances patient communication in a variety of ways. For instance:
- Healthcare providers can use the platform as one of the best intuitive patient engagement healthcare apps to send appointment reminders, deliver test results, and conduct virtual consultations.
- Patients can also use the platform to message their healthcare providers with any concerns they may have about their health.
- The platform offers a variety of customization options that healthcare providers can use to tailor to patients’ specific needs.
Best For: Rocket.Chat is best suited for healthcare providers who must communicate securely with their patients. It provides a HIPAA-compliant messaging platform useful for virtual consultations or sharing sensitive information with patients.
How to Get Started: To get started with Rocket.Chat, you can sign up for a free trial on the platform's website.
Quenza is an online platform designed for mental health professionals to create and deliver custom exercises and activities to their clients. With the help of Quenza, healthcare providers can create and schedule homework exercises for their patients to complete between appointments.
Healthcare providers can customize these exercises to address specific patient needs, including journaling, mindfulness, and cognitive-behavioral therapy exercises. On the other hand, patients can complete these exercises at their own pace and submit them for review.
Best for: Quenza is an ideal platform for mental health professionals who aim to enhance treatment outcomes and patient experience through personalized, one-to-one engagement with their patients.
It is especially valuable for medical practices seeking to supplement their treatment plans with tailored exercises and activities to support their patients' progress.
Quenza is also used for practice management, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, mental health coaches, wellness coaches, counselors, telepsychiatrists, and health coaches.
3. AC Health
AC Health is among the notable patient engagement healthcare apps offering various services to healthcare providers, including personalized home care instructions for patients. Its customized home care instructions enable healthcare providers to create custom care plans for their patients.
These plans can include detailed instructions for medication management, wound care, physical therapy, and other aspects of home care. Patients can access these instructions securely through the AC Health platform, making it easy to follow their treatment plans and stay engaged in their care.
Best for: AC Health is best suited for healthcare providers who want to enhance secure communication and adherence to treatment plans. It benefits home care services or patients requiring ongoing care management.
DoctorConnect is regarded as one of the top players among preferred patient engagement healthcare apps capable of sending appointment reminders. It also functions as a scheduling platform for healthcare providers, offering many features to improve patient engagement and reduce appointment no-shows.
DoctorConnect enables healthcare providers to send appointment reminders to patients via chat messages, email, or voice calls. These reminders can include customized messages that encourage patients to attend their appointments and can also provide patients with options to reschedule if needed.
The platform also enables patients to confirm or cancel their appointments, making it easy for healthcare providers to manage their schedules.
Best for: DoctorConnect is known as one of the most impactful healthcare apps for reducing appointment no-shows and improving patient engagement. It is beneficial for coping with high volumes or patients with complex scheduling needs.
Physitrack is a healthcare platform that offers guided physical therapy exercises to patients. With a library of over 4,000 exercises, Physitrack enables healthcare providers to create customized treatment plans that meet the unique needs of their patients. It also includes progress-tracking features that enable patients to monitor their progress and share updates with their healthcare providers.
With its high-quality videos and professional narration of a broad range of rehabilitation activities, this long-standing program has brought the paper-based library of physical therapy exercises into the modern era. Its multi-lingual capabilities ensure patients can access the program in their preferred language. The program covers various exercises, from basic strengthening and range-of-motion activities to advanced vestibular training and respiratory rehabilitation techniques.
Best for: Physitrack is best suited for healthcare providers who want to improve adherence to physical therapy treatment plans. It is capable of providing physical therapy services and helping patients with musculoskeletal or neurological conditions.
Recent trends in adopting a patient engagement healthcare app
After the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an uptick in interactive patient experience. More and more patients seek integrated digital services from their healthcare providers.
Recent statistics indicate that patients seek more personalized and convenient healthcare services focusing on digital communication and engagement. A survey by Accenture states that 60% of patients prefer digital healthcare services to conventional in-person care.
To meet these evolving patient expectations, healthcare organizations must embrace new communication tools, such as patient engagement healthcare apps, to reach out to patients more effectively.
One such tool is Rocket.Chat. As stated above, It is an open-source and HIPAA-compliant communication platform that enables patients to securely engage with their healthcare providers in real-time. Its scalability and customizability are notable capabilities that could help healthcare providers meet large-scale healthcare emergencies.
Rocket.Chat can help you connect with your patients securely and efficiently. If you're looking for a secure way to reach and engage with your patients, try out Rocket.Chat and take the first step towards improving patient engagement and satisfaction in your practice.