Behavioral health and human services organizations are increasingly using technology like patient engagement platforms to improve patient outcome measures. Why? Because these applications give patients autonomy to manage their care.
What’s more, patient engagement apps create a sense of connection following treatment. And as research shows, keeping patients engaged in their care makes them more likely to stick to their treatment plan and see better results.
In this article, we’ll explain how patient engagement can improve health outcomes and how technology can help with efficiency and quality of care. Plus, you’ll gain a better understanding of how your own organization can implement patient engagement applications to improve patient outcome metrics.
How Patient Engagement Can Improve Patient Outcome Goals
We know from research that engaged patients are more likely to comply with their treatment plans and make better decisions about their care. Furthermore, patients with substance use disorder that have timely and practical options for continuing patient care post-treatment are likelier to have longer-lasting recovery.
Patient engagement is essential to value-based care, which is a healthcare delivery model focused on better outcomes, patient satisfaction, and the overall patient experience. Patient engagement is crucial to value-based care because engaged patients are more likely to comprehend their condition, comply with orders, and share more information with their care providers.
Here are several evidence-based practices and interventions that are effective at ensuring better care for patients.
- Patient education: Having low health literacy levels can diminish the level of care for patients. However, educating patients about their condition, treatment options, and the steps they can take to manage their own health can improve their well-being.
- Shared decision-making: Involving patients in the decision-making process for their care leads to better patient outcomes. You can promote this by providing patients with personalized information (care plan) about their treatment options and discussing the potential risks and benefits.
- Self-management support: Providing patients with the tools and resources to manage their condition effectively improves patient outcomes. Evidence shows that patient education that promotes self-management skills improves clinical outcomes more than information alone. Self-management support includes symptom-tracking tools, medication reminders, and online support groups.
- Patient-provider communication: Improving communication between patients and their healthcare providers significantly improves outcomes and promotes patient-centered care. You can facilitate this by encouraging open and honest communication, providing patients with clear and understandable information, and creating opportunities for patients to give feedback to the clinicians.
- Alumni engagement: Programs that help former patients access care and services more quickly and connect with after-care and post-treatment options can help them better identify at-risk behavior (or situations) and prevent relapse.
How to Implement a Patient Engagement App
Patient engagement apps create a sense of connection during and following treatment. Investing in patient engagement software can make you more involved in a patient’s care and get better results. Getting started may seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be.
Here are a few tips for organizations interested in implementing a patient engagement app:
- Partner with an experienced health technology company that understands the behavioral healthcare industry and can provide expertise in app development.
- Hire a technology vendor who can help you design and implement a patient engagement program that meets your specific needs and also provides guidance for selecting the best app features and functions for your purposes.
- Look for a partner to provide ongoing support and maintenance services to ensure the app runs smoothly.
- Make sure the app is intuitive, easy to download, and easy to navigate.
- Verify that the app provides security and compliance support to protect patient data and meet all relevant regulations and standards, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act).
- Look for features that streamline your clinical and administrative workflows to make your care system work more efficiently.
- Ensure that your patient engagement app allows access to care team members and support services through telehealth and secure messaging.
- Prioritize interoperability so your patient engagement platform shares functionality with your electronic health records (EHR) system, billing, and reimbursement system.
- Look for an app that offers post-treatment options for program alumni.
- Make sure the platform fosters a sense of connection by offering community or peer-based forums and support groups.
- Choose a tech partner that provides training and education to ensure a seamless experience for providers (and patients).
How the CaredFor App Can Improve Patient Outcomes
When you engage patients in their care, you can improve outcome measures like reducing symptoms, medical errors, hospital readmissions, and emergency department visits. Technology can help organizations extend their reach, enhance patient safety, and boost quality care by providing patients with continuing education, timely and effective access to care, and tools to help them manage their health.
CaredFor is a patient engagement app that helps connect patients with their care teams and allows for accessible communication and coordination. The app includes features like appointment scheduling, medication reminders, and secure messaging, which helps patients prioritize their behavioral health and human services (BHHS) treatment plans. It also allows patients to access their health records, lab results, and other medical information. CaredFor includes a telemedicine feature enabling patients to connect remotely with their care team.
The CaredFor app can help your health system improve outcomes in the following areas.
Patient engagement technology, like the CaredFor app, improves communication between patients and healthcare providers. It gives patients easy access to HIPAA-compliant communication tools to help patients feel more informed and connected to your services.
Adherence to Treatment Plans
Another way in which patient engagement technology can improve patient outcomes is by increasing patient compliance. Health technology can help patients stay on track with their treatments by providing them with tools to manage their care. The CaredFor app features appointment reminders, scheduling, and Care Journeys, which can help patients stay active in their care.
Patient engagement technology can encourage patients to participate actively in their well-being. By providing educational resources and tools to manage their treatment, these technologies can help patients feel more in control of their health and more invested in their recovery. The CaredFor app allows patients to access a patient education content library curated to support your programming approach. Patients can view their treatment plan and communicate with their care team using HIPAA-compliant messaging from the app.
Get the Solutions You Need to Improve Patient Outcome Goals
There’s no doubt that patient engagement is a critical factor in improving patient outcome measures. You can improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, and promote a more collaborative relationship between patients and healthcare providers by giving patients the autonomy to manage their care and the tools to stay engaged in their treatment.
Patient engagement tools, such as the CaredFor app, can help you achieve these goals by providing patients with easy access to their health information, medication reminders, and appointment scheduling, all in one place. Additionally, CaredFor can improve communication between patients and providers, which can increase adherence to treatment plans and empower patients to take a more active role in their own care.
You can implement patient engagement apps by working with an experienced health technology partner like ContinuumCloud to ensure the app is user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to navigate for behavioral health and human services clients. By implementing the CaredFor app, your team of healthcare providers can see improved patient outcomes and a more engaged and satisfied patient population. To learn more, connect with us today.