Choosing a Patient Engagement Platform: 10 Pain Points and Solutions

Patient engagement platform: employees happily looking at a tablet

Here's a familiar scenario: You know your patients expect online convenience because they use their smartphones, laptops, or tablets to manage nearly every aspect of their lives. You also know that your patients want healthcare services to be an all-in-one experience similar to online shopping and social media platforms. 

However, your human resources are stretched to their limits. You know that you need the help of technology to gain efficiency and work more productively, but you don't know where to start.

One way to keep your behavioral health patients, clinicians, and office staff moving forward is through a well-executed patient engagement platform that works with your EHR and practice management systems. How do you do that? Let's review some common pain points and their corresponding health IT solutions, including how to get the most out of your investment by choosing technology created specifically for behavioral health.

10 Behavioral Care Pain Points and Solutions

If you're considering investing in a patient engagement platform, your first goal is to make sure it meets all of your requirements. That means choosing a vendor that specializes in technology for your industry — you'll achieve the best ROI and begin solving these common behavioral health pain points.

1. Your behavioral health organization lacks patient education resources.

Patient engagement is known to improve health outcomes and decrease costs. One factor that drives engagement is patient education. Some research suggests that Americans may spend as much as 156 hours per year searching the internet for information about their diagnoses. The fact is, unless you are providing it, your patients are likely consuming unreliable information that can be detrimental to their mental health. 

The CaredFor patient engagement platform from ContinuumCloud provides access to approved educational materials. With our mobile engagement app, patients, family, or alumni have immediate access to a content library that aligns with your programming goals. 

2. The traditional way of communicating is inconvenient for your staff and patients.

When it comes to patient engagement solutions, communication is a key differentiator. Patients who feel engaged with their clinicians and team members have built relationships characterized by trust and appropriate communication. The traditional workflow for healthcare providers and patients includes multiple levels of communication that lack functionality and are inefficient and time-consuming. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare organizations that enabled text messaging for patients improved patient engagement and patient satisfaction scores. Not only did 95% of patients agree they felt more connected with the care team, but they also reported making fewer calls to the office for general information, which freed up staff for other duties.

ContinuumCloud’s EHR system and the CaredFor patient engagement platform provide HIPAA-compliant patient communication methods, including SMS text messaging. For added efficiency, you can schedule messages for automation. 

For patients, time spent on-hold scheduling appointments, requesting referrals, or paying bills by traditional means can take too much time from their day. ContinuumCloud’s patient portal allows patients to conveniently perform these tasks from their smartphone or computer. 

3. Patient access to behavioral health services is hindered by a lack of technology.

A shortage of clinicians and tighter insurance limits may make behavioral health in the United States more difficult to access. By leveraging technology like telehealth with new communication modalities, you can improve patient access to behavioral health services.

ContinuumCloud's EHR provides clients with secure video conferencing, chat, and other communication tools. Our patient portal and CaredFor patient engagement platform improve both access and engagement.

4. Your back-office staff isn’t supported with your current EMR.

When it comes to your coding and billing department, disjointed EMRs aren’t much better than manual charts. Team members still have to obtain information from the front office and charge information from clinicians before they can complete their processes. This slows RCM and can lead to unhappy patients if they end up with a surprise bill. 

A cloud-based EHR platform like ContinuumCloud's helps your staff work more efficiently with fewer errors. Enable two-way communication between patients, clinicians, billing, and reception, streamline your organization's workflow, and manage the revenue cycle more efficiently with our comprehensive solutions. 

5. You don’t know what’s going on with your patients between visits. 

You may have come to accept the fact that you aren't always able to be there for your patients. Wouldn't it be great if you could? Patient care doesn’t have to cease between appointments.

With the help of ContinuumCloud, you can keep your patients focused on their goals and behaviors between visits. The CaredFor mobile patient engagement platform makes it easy to deliver targeted outreach through self-evaluation surveys and receive feedback immediately. You can even conduct patient monitoring with quick response surveys that take only a minute to complete.

6. Your patients don’t have enough peer interaction.

Peer support systems for patients have become integral to mental health and well-being. Challenges presented by social distancing during the pandemic could be preventing your patients from participating in this important activity. 

The CaredFor app enables online support groups that are moderated by your organization and available to members 24/7. This activity is safer than social media and gives your clients a sense of connection to their peers while developing deeper ties to your practice. 

7. Initial lab work or follow-ups are missed.

Behavioral health patients are often on tightly regimented prescription medications that have to be monitored closely. When a patient fails to have baseline lab work, prescribing is delayed. If they miss follow-up labs, their health may be jeopardized. 

For several years, research has shown that engaged patients are more likely to participate in self-management and attend follow-ups. And as full partners in their care, engaged patients more often take responsibility for rescheduling missed lab work. These patients also prefer to view their labs online via a connected patient portal. 

When a patient doesn't get their lab work done, needs a refill, or a dose change, ContinuumCloud's EHR system makes automated communication easy through the patient portal.

8. You don’t have a full picture of your patients’ health.

Entrepreneur writing and holding a cup of coffee

When mental and physical healthcare is integrated, outcomes improve, stigma is reduced, and patients get the care they need when they need it. But in many systems, behavioral and physical health information exist in siloed locations. 

Behavioral health care providers can take steps toward integrating with primary care providers by implementing technology solutions like ContinuumCloud’s interoperable EHR. Our solutions connect to create an efficient system that can provide better treatment outcomes while also reducing costs.

9. Your revenue cycle is lengthened due to outdated information or uncollected patient responsibility. 

The more difficult it is to maintain clear concise records, the more opportunity there is for mistakes. When your revenue cycle management solution is integrated with electronic health record (EHR) software, you can streamline administrative workflows, improve productivity, and reduce missed revenue. In addition, patient portals and communication tools can enhance the patient experience, allow patients to pay online, boost retention, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

ContinuumCloud specializes in health IT services and software for behavioral health practices, human services, and substance use clinics. Our EHR integrates with RCM solutions and connects to the CaredFor patient engagement platform. We optimize our software to simplify the billing process and improve the patient experience.

10. No-shows are hurting your bottom line. 

No-shows cost the healthcare industry billions of dollars each year in the United States. Often, patients forget their appointment. Automating appointment reminders is easy with ContinuumCloud’s EHR system. Not only can it help reduce missed appointments, but you can also use secure messaging to communicate your no-show policy. 

Boost ROI With the CaredFor Patient Engagement Platform and Connected EHR

Team having a meeting

When it comes to investing in patient engagement software, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you want to choose a platform that is tailored to your specialty. Next, find a vendor that understands the pain points that keep you up at night and can offer solutions.

The CaredFor app from ContinuumCloud engages patients in addiction recovery, human services, and primary behavioral health programs to improve outcomes, increase office efficiency, and reduce attrition. Our integrated EHR technology, along with our patient engagement platform, can help you address each of these pain points and many others. Learn more by connecting with one of our behavioral health IT experts today.

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