Digital patient engagement is a growing desire for OB/GYN offices and the digital startups that are revitalizing women’s health. As more and more telehealth services become available, it’s important to let patients know what services are available and how they access them.
Many patients are under the impression that all OB/GYN services must be attended in the office and aren’t aware of the many telehealth benefits that can be taken advantage of through telehealth services. This is why patient engagement strategies in a digital environment are so important.
Digital Patient Engagement Tools for OB/GYN Practices
The first hurdle to jump with digital patient engagement is making patients aware of what telehealth services are available such as some prenatal and postnatal check-ups, STI testing, lactation consulting, educational programs and specific communities. Once patients decide what they can use telehealth for, they must learn how to utilize the necessary digital patient tools that make telehealth successful.
With most digital patient engagement platforms, the requirements are simple. The interface needs to offer an easy-to-use experience and some standard features. Have a look below to see some strong examples of patient engagement strategies for women’s health-focused practices and startups.
Patients should be offered a secure means of effortless communication. Since most people text daily, mobile messaging makes the most sense when communicating with healthcare professionals.
There are many different options for text messaging: appointment reminders, care instructions, and appointment follow-up. Text messaging increases the odds of patients keeping appointments and follow-up care instructions being followed.
There are strong restrictions on standard SMS messaging due to HIPAA privacy laws; however, many EHR platforms offer secure means of communication that fall within the laws and are still easy for the patient to interact with.
Electronic in-take questionnaires are another well-used digital patient engagement tool. For OB/GYN patients, health history intake forms can be long and arduous. This is especially true for young women who might need help from parents who have a better grasp of their health history.
Filling out questionnaires right before an appointment can be stressful. Filling them out online beforehand lets the patient complete them slowly when it’s convenient.
Automated notifications may be the easiest way to increase digital patient engagement. Automated alerts improve attendance rates and behavior modification. With little effort, these simple reminders can quickly boost patient engagement.
Patients are on the internet looking for information. With a digital health platform you can become a trusted source they can turn to.
While you don’t have to have encyclopedic knowledge on all subjects, being able to answer your patients’ frequently asked questions goes a long way toward digital patient engagement. Including a FAQ section within the EHR app is always helpful for patients with questions.
Another simple way to engage your patients is by linking to informational pamphlets, printables, and checklists you’ve created or have been created by a trusted source.
Resources you could make available are:
- Electronic antepartum forms
- Electronic postpartum forms
- EDD Calculator
- Complete audit trail
- Standard care plans for high-risk pregnancies
- Patient education based on potential problems
- Lactation guide
- STI information
How Do You Engage OB/GYN Patients in Telehealth?
Patient engagement strategies in a digital environment are needed now more than ever. They are also easier to implement than ever before. It’s essential to keep these specific strategies in mind to improve digital patient engagement.
Start a conversation - Simulating real conversation with your messaging chatbots goes a long way to improving patient engagement. There are many sophisticated options that allow for natural dialogue and others that allow for real-time text responses.
Convenience counts - Allowing patients to respond when it’s convenient means improved interaction. Using 2-way automated outreach for scheduling and rescheduling greatly helps patient satisfaction and continued interaction.
Communication - Closed-loop communication for follow-ups with care instructions, care plan prep, and follow-up appointments improves any digital patient engagement platform.
Personalization - Creating a personalized user experience based on patient preference, and demographics inspires patients to engage.
Patient engagement strategies in a digital environment are extremely helpful for patients who often miss appointments due to lack of convenience, cost, and inability to find care for other children. It can create organization and connection in a patient’s life so she is able to put her health first with relative ease.
Having strong digital patient engagement strategies also improves patient care with easing processes in the office or online for providers.
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