Adopting even the best patient portal software and mobile app can be a challenge for many medical practices, both in terms of getting staff on board with the new software and encouraging patients to use it. This is often the case, despite the fact that patients are increasingly demanding access to their healthcare online and that organizations can significantly benefit from the patient portal’s time-saving tools and features.
The good news is that successfully launching new patient engagement technology can be easy. It involves a patient engagement strategy that includes the right software, support from providers and staff, and an experienced implementation team. Here are three implementation tips to help you get started:
1. Communicate early on with staff about plans to implement a new technology.
Early communication with providers and staff about the decision to implement a patient portal or patient engagement mobile app will lead to a higher buy-in rate. It is important to provide as much information as possible about the technology and to be proactive in answering questions such as:
- How will you integrate the technology with existing workflow?
- What benefits will the technology provide on a day-to-day basis?
- Will the technology create more work or alleviate tasks for the team?
The more confident your staff feels about the implementation of a new patient engagement technology, the more likely they are to accept it and to recommend it to patients.
2. Assign roles and responsibilities for overseeing specific aspects of the technology.
Implementing patient engagement technology will simplify many administrative tasks, but it is going to require making a few changes in order to handle some new responsibilities that stem from the software. For example, you will need to decide whether one person will be responsible for responding to medication refill requests or whether this task will be split among several users. The same goes for appointment requests and patient messages. Assigning these roles early on and providing ample training will help eliminate confusion.
3. Start a campaign to encourage patient adoption of the new technology.
Whether you want patients to use the technology to attest for MACRA or simply to help improve treatment outcomes, the first way to increase patient portal adoption is to raise awareness. A general campaign targeting your entire patient base is only a good idea if you have the staff resources, as you may get a lot of questions initially while patients learn to navigate the new system.
Another option is to start by promoting the portal or mobile app to a specific set of patients only – for example, those with a chronic disease. You can assign a care coordinator to help these patients find their way around the new technology, including the features that will benefit them and their condition most. You can also send emails to patients who opt-in, highlighting important features. By following these guidelines, you can be assured successful implementation of new patient engagement technology.
Is your practice doing all it can to increase patient engagement? Contact us to find out how a patient portal or patient engagement mobile app can help.