Over the last several years, and especially with the pandemic, “digital patient engagement platform” has become a huge buzzword within the industry. Although many industry leaders have forecasted digital care to grow in popularity, now more than ever, healthcare organizations need to be vetting top patient engagement companies for the right solutions in order to be competitive within the musculoskeletal landscape, as consumerism and reputation begin to play a bigger role in how individuals and employers choose healthcare.
How should one go about finding the best patient engagement software for their organization? To simplify the search, it’s crucial to understand what exactly a patient engagement platform is, and what benefits it should be able to bring to your medical teams and each individual patient.
What is a digital patient engagement platform?
A digital patient engagement platform is an intuitive digital application to be leveraged by healthcare organizations and patients as a true partner in pre- and post-operative care. A digital patient engagement platform should be integrated into your patient engagement strategy.
A digital patient engagement tools provide the following benefits to providers:
- Customizable patient engagement and personalized care plans
- Data collection and analysis
- Integrated workflow
Digital patient engagement tools provide the following benefits to patients:
- Goal-setting and tracking
- Task lists
- Pre- and post-operative education
- Communication hub
Here are four major benefits of a digital patient engagement platform:
1. Boosts Hospital Reputation
By improving web-based engagement and trust, patients are much more likely to give their physician a positive online review. This study shows that if a local hospital can increase their online reputation, over half of their prospective patient pool will take notice.
By collecting reviews from patients, healthcare orgs are given real-time feedback to identify gaps or disparities in care processes currently in place, which can be addressed and redirected for improvement quickly.
Implementing a consumer health engagement platform is one of the most powerful ways to get ahead of your competitors, while still keeping patient-centricity at the forefront of the care you provide.
Hospitals that are able to showcase successful value-based care and a great reputation with innovative software are much more likely to be recognized as a Center of Excellence.
2. Improves Patient Experience & Satisfaction
Along with boosting hospital reputation, digital patient engagement tools have the power to improve overall patient experience and satisfaction. By engaging with patients at strategic points throughout their care, providers and care teams alike are able to proactively address potential complications that could lead to avoidable post-op pain and possible readmission.
Digital platforms for patient engagement allow for continuous communication and access to education. Whether that be from a mobile patient engagement platform or on a desktop, individuals can complete prescribed care assignments, take charge of their own recovery journey, and gain a sense of accomplishment and confidence that they are in the right hands for a positive recovery.
In addition, if a provider located is several hours away, patients save large chunks of time traveling to and from appointments, and are able to recover from the comfort of their own home, freeing up time and stress in their lives, leading to a genuine appreciation for their care team’s attentiveness and a higher rate of satisfaction.
3. Improves Patient Outcomes
Personalized care for each patient is the best solution for achieving consistently positive outcomes while lessening complications, but are traditionally difficult, expensive, and slow to scale. Patient engagement software is by far the most viable method for scaling high quality, standardized education, exercises, and communications without the need of hiring additional people.
Consistent & Reliable Data Collection
Manually collecting data is a thing of the past, or should be if your organization is still handling the manual work of collecting functional and quality of life PROM forms. Patient engagement tools should have the functionality to automatically collect and bundle all core functional and QoL PROMs and submits data to registries. If the tool cannot offer this, we highly recommend looking elsewhere.
The time spent manually collecting and submitting this data is put back into the hands of the provider, giving care teams time to allocate to a patient’s recovery.
Do Patient Engagement Platforms in Total Joint Arthroplasty Improve Patient-Reported Outcomes?
In this publication, put forth in partnership with Force Therapeutics, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, found that of the 1,039 included patients, 60.6% (336) THA and 62.7% (304) TKA patients enrolled in the patient engagement portal, participation in the TKA but not the THA cohort was associated with significant improvement in physical function and joint specific function. Furthermore, THA patients who opted-in, increased portal logins were associated with more rapid improvement and higher functional scores.
Effect of Preoperative Electronic Patient Engagement on Patient Reported Outcomes following Total Hip Arthroplasty
This recent study with NYU Langone illustrates the apparent relationship between the use of patient engagement platforms and patient reported outcomes scores. The results showed the preoperative EPRA engagement measured by the frequency of patient log-ins is associated with statistically significant higher postoperative PRO scores. However, the differences were not clinically significant.
4. Streamlines Process for Higher Payer Reimbursements
Patient engagement tools for hospitals collect huge data pools of patient information to EMRs with interoperability. Without this, it can be confusing and frustrating to know what is contributing the highest quality of care.
With bundled payments, payers will collectively reimburse all the providers involved, using a set price for an episode of care, which is based on historical costs for each procedure.
Providers who exceed the pre-arranged reimbursement for the episode bear the financial responsibility for overages. That’s where the importance of reducing care variability and readmission rates come in. By analyzing data and addressing potential complications, healthcare systems can ensure higher reimbursements and revenue streams, while keeping their patients happy and healthy. It’s a win-win.
To learn more, read about the 3 Reasons why a Hybrid Model of Telehealth Physical Therapy Works.