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If you’re a health care provider preparing to succeed on your own, we can show you how to do just that.

Staying competitive with patient engagement strategies

Patient engagement strategies that emphasize communication and service can help make your practice an attractive choice for patients and referral partners. By promoting a culture of patient engagement—especially by taking full advantage of the value of patient portals—an independent practice can see stronger financial performance and more positive clinical outcomes.

Patient engagement strategies are a focus of today’s major health care reform initiatives, including Meaningful Use, the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). For example, Stage 2 of Meaningful Use requires that health care providers enable patients to view online, download and transmit their health information using patient portals.

If this connection between provider and patient isn’t successful, the participating provider will fail to attest to Stage 2 (ultimately, an inability to meet Meaningful Use measures will result in penalties). Practices that use appropriate patient engagement strategies to achieve the threshold for measures like these will find it easier to attest for Stage 2 and thus, receive their incentive payments.

As with so many of the administrative and communication demands on practices today, having the right technology and services are central to implementing successful patient engagement strategies. To start, any independent practice needs automated patient messaging services and, ideally, live operator services, to foster better patient retention and loyalty.

Patient portals can become the focal point of any patient engagement strategy, empowering patients to check test results, refill prescriptions, review their medical record, and view education materials. Patient portals also streamline administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments and sending patient reminders, reducing a practice staff’s work burden. And, perhaps most important to a practice’s bottom line, a patient portal can act as a central location for electronic statements and to facilitate easy online patient payments.

Patient engagement strategies that utilize today’s technologies and patient communication services (including an online patient portal and automated messaging to the patient’s preference of email, text message or phone call) can satisfy patients who demand convenient access to their health information. These strategies can also increase revenue via more efficient, online self-pay collections and program incentive payments, such as those for Meaningful Use Stage 2.

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