We now know through multiple studies that patient engagement correlates to a better quality of care and improved patient health provider relationships. So it’s no surprise that you want to use tools that will help you provide better health outcomes and enhance communication throughout the decision-making process.
But how do you choose the best patient engagement technology to fit your organizational and patient needs? In this article, we’ll discuss why patient engagement is crucial in behavioral health and dive deep into the most important features to look for when choosing a platform. With a firm understanding of patient engagement technology, you can provide better patient care and receive the best return on your investment.
Why Patient Engagement Is Important in Behavioral Health
When a patient chooses to address their psychological and emotional health, they’re more likely to develop the self-image of an active and engaged patient. Science suggests that these patients may experience an improved locus of control.
Additionally, patient engagement in the therapeutic process is vital for making the patient feel like an active partner in the treatment plan itself — and helping them better adhere to the prescribed therapy. Engaging people in behavioral health is also a key factor in social inclusion. In fact, evidence points to the role of social support in decreasing instances of relapse and feelings of isolation.
Behavioral Health Patient Engagement Technology Key Features
In previous articles, we’ve talked about patient engagement strategies like wearables, EHRs and patient portals, teletherapy, and mobile apps. We’ve also covered digital patient engagement concepts, uses, and best practices. But when you’re trying to find the best technology solution, there are several key features to consider as well as interoperability, specialization, mobile functionality, support, and privacy compliance.
We know from multiple research studies, including data coming out of CCBHCs, that integrating physical and mental health can improve outcomes and reduce stigma. Accessible medical and behavioral health information is necessary for providing quality patient treatment that leads to better outcomes.
Practices at the forefront of behavioral care avoid healthcare silos. Rather, they tend to integrate physical healthcare data into their mental health care plans. Look for patient engagement technology solutions that help you do the same.
For instance, make sure you partner with vendors whose electronic health record (EHR) systems are interoperable. This feature allows clinicians to interact with multiple types of health information. Your patient portal should be integrated as well. Look for systems that feature inputs for patient-generated health data (PGHD).
ContinuumCloud’s EHR solution and CaredFor patient engagement platform connect patients and providers across multiple programs at all levels of care including family and alumni.
In the behavioral healthcare industry, there's no one-size-fits-all approach. The same can be said for successful patient engagement technology. Develop partnerships with vendors who understand your specialty and formulate solutions that streamline, automate, and optimize your workflows.
Accurate and timely patient education is one of the most important patient engagement features you can provide. You need to know that you can trust the information offered — and that’s a tall order for a vendor who doesn’t differentiate.
ContinuumCloud specializes in creating interactive digital health experiences that help your patients achieve and maintain their mental health. We are behavioral health IT professionals who are dedicated to improving your ability to deliver quality and timely behavioral healthcare and human services.
Mobile and Online Experience
Patient engagement technology should bridge time and space by recreating the in-person experience. Telehealth may be the first example that pops into your mind, but there are a few other technologies that can help in this area as well.
Mobile communication tools like instant messaging (SMS) and chat offer patients an opportunity to participate in their care and get help from you when they need it most, no matter where they are. Use the same technology to continue building engagement between visits with appointment reminders and check-ins, and to deliver self-evaluation questionnaires and follow-up surveys.
ContinuumCloud’s patient engagement platform offers safe social features that allow patients, alumni, and family members to connect, learn, and get support from peers in a controlled and moderated environment. Whether your patients are connecting over their laptop, tablet, or smartphone, they can access the CaredFor app.
Multiple Support Options
It’s always a challenge to learn new technology. Look for providers who support you as a client and as a provider. Not only will you need to understand how to use their software but you’ll also want to provide a great patient experience. Look for patient engagement solutions that work on all platforms and provide multiple support options.
ContinuumCloud provides multiple access points for clinicians and patients such as web-based, Android, and iOS, plus you can reach out to ContinuumCloud’s expert support services via phone, chat, or email. What’s more, you can obtain information through in-person training, by scheduling an online demo, or by digging deeper with additional documentation, webinars, and videos.
Privacy, Security, and Compliance
Today’s healthcare professionals understand that the security of patient data and privacy are of the utmost importance. To add perspective, there were 712 healthcare data breaches (affecting more than 500 individuals each) between January 1 and December 31, 2021, according to a report by HIPAA Journal. That’s an increase of nearly 11% from the previous period.
But it’s not only patient health information that’s at stake. All patient and staff communications must also be private and secured.
Choosing a patient engagement technology partner that offers multiple layers of security is critical to ensuring your health system remains effective, trustworthy, and in compliance with federal and state regulations.
ContinuumCloud’s EHR solution and patient engagement platform are 100% cloud-based, so you don't need a secure server in-house. Being cloud-based means that you and your patients can communicate and access information securely from any device at any time. Communication through our services is encrypted, secured, and fully HIPAA and HITECH compliant.
Choose Patient Engagement Tech Made for Behavioral Health
In healthcare, treating the whole patient is critical to success — and to do that, you need all available health data. Patients who have more information about their health are more engaged, so choose a technology partner who can help ensure better outcomes all around.
Integration and interoperability are at the top of the list when selecting patient engagement technology. Work with behavioral health IT experts to get the most value for your investment and consider cloud-based solutions with mobile functionality and more communication methods to bridge the gaps between visits.
Don’t forget that trust is key to patient satisfaction. It’s imperative to choose a technology partner who understands industry regulations, ensures the privacy of sensitive patient data, encrypts all communications, and protects you from costly data breaches.
ContinuumCloud’s cloud-based patient engagement technologies include integrated, secure, and compliant EHRs and patient portals. These applications can extend your reach with workflow automations like appointment reminders, chat, and follow-up questionnaires as well as secure messaging and telemedicine delivery.
Schedule a call or talk with a ContinuumCloud industry expert today to learn more about getting the support that you (and your patients) need.