Shaping the Patient Experience With Digital Patient Engagement Tools

Happy woman using a laptop

We know that patient engagement promotes better health outcomes since empowered patients take control of their health and adhere to treatment plans more consistently. The question many behavioral health leaders are asking is how to create a culture of care that includes patient engagement at its heart. 

Connecting, communicating, and maintaining a strong relationship are all key factors for improving satisfaction and delivering great patient experiences consistently. Digital health tools can make this easier.

ContinuumCloud believes the concept of patient experience is central to a successful patient engagement strategy. In this article, we'll discuss how to use digital patient engagement tools as vital instruments to support your patients in all phases of their behavioral healthcare journey.

Recruiting New Patients With Digital Patient Engagement Tools

Studies suggest that a solid digital patient engagement strategy may help drive new patients to your behavioral health practice or system. Patients want to be met where they are, and according to new statistics from Pew Research, today's consumers are frequently online:

  • 85% of adults are online daily
  • 31% of people are online “constantly”
  • 7% are not online 

To recruit new behavioral health patients, a website is becoming increasingly important, but that’s just the start. The following tools are among the most desired by new patients.

Online Appointments

HealthGrades found that 80% of consumers prefer online scheduling for healthcare, much like what they’ve come to expect from travel and restaurant websites. An additional 35% of respondents admitted that online scheduling is a factor in choosing a new healthcare provider.

Self-scheduling appointments and rescheduling appointments are easy with ContinuumCloud's EHR system. Patients can also use the system to complete and submit new patient forms or reach out with questions.

Online Health Records

Due to stigma, behavioral health patients may delay finding a new provider if they dread having to retell their story. Having a digital version of a patient's chart, also called an electronic medical record (EMR), is a good start, but for full interoperability, consider an EHR system.

According to the American Psychological Association, for clients and patients to receive safe and effective care, integrating behavioral health is essential. By sharing health information with other providers, including primary care, you can improve the quality of care you give. 

ContinuumCloud’s EHR is Meaningful Use certified. The system meets the strict criteria for interoperability set forth by MACPAC. We provide healthcare providers with cloud-based solutions that enable them to participate in care coordination and clinical decision support from anywhere at any time.

Online Payments

A US Bank report found that most consumers prefer and expect to pay their medical bills electronically. Online payment options enhance patient experience while supporting your behavioral health practice's financial strategy. 

ContinuumCloud’s EHR and patient portal offers clients the ability to pay invoices, copayments, and coinsurance online, plus update insurance information. If your patient has a question about fees or patient responsibility amounts, they can use the HIPAA-compliant chat feature to reach someone in real-time. 

Digital Patient Engagement Tools for Existing Patients

Digital patient engagement tools: happy woman wearing headphones and using a tablet

Even past research shows that most patients want technology-enabled healthcare. Indeed, today’s behavioral health patients are actively looking for solutions to facilitate a better care experience. Approximately 60% of healthcare consumers prefer using mobile applications for communicating with their providers, getting health information, and managing their care. 

These patient engagement tools can help your behavioral healthcare organization meet patient expectations, differentiate your practice, retain patients, and scale growth.

Automated Appointment Reminders

It can be frustrating to miss an appointment both for the patient and provider. By scheduling reminders ahead of time about upcoming appointments, medication refills, and other important events like lab tests, you can decrease no-shows and enhance engagement.

Fortunately, with CaredFor, the patient engagement app from ContinuumCloud, many administrative processes like appointment reminders can be automated, which saves you time and money. 

Patient Relationship Management

Patient engagement decreases between appointments. Staying connected and improving access throughout the patient journey keeps behavioral health top of mind.

ContinuumCloud makes it easy to keep patients focused on their goals and behaviors. Use the CaredFor app to deliver targeted outreach through self-evaluation surveys and receive feedback. Conduct patient monitoring and follow-up with your patients using micro-interactions—quick response questionnaires associated with a high participation rate that only take a minute to complete. 

Digital Communication Tools 

According to a survey from Accenture Health, care during the COVID-19 pandemic was enhanced through digital communication. Today, 60% of patients want to continue using technology to communicate with their healthcare providers.

Patients want to reach out to providers whenever it is convenient for them using familiar tools like SMS (text messaging), chat, and social media messaging apps. Unfortunately, these methods are not always secure.

ContinuumCloud’s EHR system and patient engagement app offer several opportunities for improved communication among clients, administrative staff, and clinicians. 

  • Access click-to-meet telehealth technology directly from the patient's clinical notes for scheduled appointments and for unscheduled communication
  • You can also provide virtual care through our HIPAA-compliant secure video channel to share screens, deliver education, and facilitate group therapy 
  • Chat and instant message with clients through a direct channel that is more secure than texting and email
  • Through the CaredFor patient engagement app and ContinuumCloud’s EHR, patients can connect with providers using computers, tablets, and smartphones

Digital Patient Engagement Tools to Reactivate Patients

Digital patient engagement tools: happy man using his phone

Keeping patients active after treatment goals have been reached is a challenge that most behavioral health practices face. You can improve patient retention and mental health outcomes through patient engagement strategies that maintain connections with alumni and family members. 

According to our research, centers with strong alumni programs are more likely to retain patients longer and receive more referrals. Here are some tools we offer to engage this group.

Patient Education

Patient education is essential to pre- and post-care management, behavioral health management, and preventive care access. In general, mental health clinics face the following challenges: delivering updated and accurate information from credible sources, building a custom library of topics that will reach patients across all levels of care, and providing reliable digital access to information when patients are ready to consume it.

With the CaredFor patient engagement app, patients, alumni, and family members have access to a library of trustworthy behavioral health information. As the provider, you control what information and education your patients have access to, ensuring it aligns with their treatment goals as well as your approach to programming.

Online Support Community

In a recent study published in Psychiatric Quarterly, 81% of participants asked about accessing an online peer support community. The majority of those living with mental health conditions and taking part in online peer support communities reported a willingness to access evidence-based interventions online. The most popular services sought by participants were those that improved coping mechanisms and skills and enabled overall well-being.

When you connect current and former patients, caregivers, family, and clinicians, you create a supportive community with deep ties to your practice. Through the CaredFor app, ContinuumCloud facilitates a moderated online support group available to members 24/7.

Choose Patient Engagement Tools Built for Behavioral Health

Healthcare priorities can vary widely, and behavioral health is no exception. For the best return on investment, design a patient engagement strategy that supports patients across all levels of care.

Today’s healthcare consumers want a digital experience. Online patient engagement tools like flexible payment options and self-scheduling can help you recruit new patients. Retain current patients by closing the communication gap between visits, through patient monitoring and follow-up. By providing education and facilitating online support groups, you can build a loyal community of current and former patients.

ContinuumCloud digital patient engagement tools enhance the patient experience by supporting and engaging them at every phase. Connect with us today and learn how you can improve outcomes by promoting positive behaviors through patient engagement.

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