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8 ways to better engage patients – New Dentist Blog

As dental practitioners, we want to ensure the patient’s oral health as well as overall wellbeing. However, the fact is that a large part of the patient’s wellbeing is determined by how invested they are in their own health. Patients can achieve lasting results by engaging in patient engagement strategies. Let’s take a look at what patient engagement is, what it entails, and importantly what are some patient engagement steps I’ve found helpful based on my experience.

Dr. Patel

What is patient engagement?

Essentially patient engagement makes sure that the dental health provider and the patient work together for the patient’s wellbeing. Patients who are involved in their treatment, care, and rehabilitation are considered engaged patients.

This ensures that patients are actively involved in the gathering of information, making decisions about treatment options, and having a say in overall health care.

Patient engagement has many benefits

Engaging patients can offer a variety of benefits including, but not limited to:

  • Patients feel valued and heard. This makes them more loyal to their health care provider.
  • It can improve the patient’s long-term health. Patients who are engaged make better health decisions.
  • Engagement patients will follow instructions for aftercare, which can reduce the risk of readmissions.
  • It reduces overall cost by having more engaged patients, which lowers the no-show rate. Unengaged patients are more likely to delay treatment and have unmet medical requirements.
Strategies to improve patient engagement

This eight-step patient engagement process can make a big difference in improving your health outcomes. These are based on years of experience of dealing with innumerable clients & determining what works in keeping them involved in their overall well-being.  While typically patients tend to underestimate their own role in the recovery process, these strategies  keep them motivated through their journey.

#1. Automation

It is clear that patient engagement can be very time-consuming. Technology is a great tool to help with patient engagement. Technology has many benefits. There are many benefits to technology, including increased effectiveness, staying connected with patients, and dealing effectively with staff burnout. A potent  example of the use of technology includes the use of  a CRM software such as Salesforce for Customer Relationship Management. Salesforce Health Cloud This is an excellent use of CRM in healthcare. Patients can have access to their health data 24 hours a day through patient portals.

#2. Segmenting Patient Population

You must treat each patient individually, regardless of whether you use technology. One patient may respond well to one engagement strategy, but not the other. Segmentation is important for patients. These are the parameters I recommend for segmentation.

  • By demographics: age, sex, ethnicity.
  • Psychographics: Such as motivations and opinions.

Segmentation is key to crafting messages that appeal to the right audience and increasing engagement rates. The frequency of reminders could be higher for young professionals who are very busy and skip regular checkups. The use of text messages might work as well, since they would most likely schedule the appointment.

#3. Pre-visit engagement

It might not be a good idea to start the engagement process as soon as the patient arrives at the clinic. Simple pre-visit procedures, such as appointment reminders and intake forms, are the best way to start patient engagement. The intake process can be simplified by completing the paperwork prior to the appointment. As a dental provider, you will have complete medical information in order to properly address the patient’s needs. You would rarely see a patient you do not know. emergency dental care, and in that case, you won’t have their medical history available in advance.

#4. #4.

Traditionally we are taught to think that it is the health care provider who can use their knowledge and training to make a diagnosis and fix the problem, and that the patient isn’t qualified to talk about their illness. This model is completely wrong when shared decision-making is used. It makes health care more accessible and equal for patients. Both the patient and the provider can discuss treatment options together. Participating with the patient in treatment discussions increases patient engagement and satisfaction.

#5. Aftercare

Aftercare is an integral part of any treatment plan. It is more important than ever that patients engage in it. Because of this, failure to follow aftercare instructions could lead to adverse health outcomes or complications. Aftercare engagement could include following up with medication, identifying symptoms to watch for, and much more.

#6. All-round care

It is important to continue patient care after they are fully recovered. Engaging with patients on an ongoing basis can help build trust. Patients will be more likely to visit you when they aren’t in the middle of a serious dental issue than if they hear from their doctors when they are. You can also offer preventive services through continuous care.

#7. #7.

In doing all of this, it is imperative that you go with the patient’s preferred channel of communication, be it email, social media, phone, or text messages. It is best that you include the option to opt in for communication at onboarding. It is important to take care to not make the patient feel overwhelmed by the volume of communication.

#8. Ensure you track metrics closely

Only by monitoring the right metrics can you assess the effectiveness of your patient engagement program. Some metrics you should monitor include:

  • Patient satisfaction
  • Response rates
  • Health outcomes
  • Preventable readmissions
To Sum Up

Invite patients to collaborate with your health care team. This will ensure that you are taking that crucial step towards improving health care. COVID-19 is a revolutionary way to change the way patients interact with their health care providers. It is possible to improve both patient health outcomes and loyalty to health care providers by taking the right steps. Future health care innovations will depend heavily on patient participation and engagement. Health care providers must ensure that they are able to develop the best patient engagement strategies in a timely manner.

Dr. Sharda Ptel is a physician. family dentistry in Pleasanton, California. She is a Tufts University of Dental Medicines graduate. She is a member in good standing of the American Dental Association as well as the California Dental Association. She is meticulous, caring, and committed to patient comfort and satisfaction. She may be found reading a paperback at weekends.


8 ways to better engage patients – New Dentist Blog

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