The digital era is transforming every sector, including the health department. The use of digital patient tools has seen a tremendous rise, especially post covid-19 pandemic, people have adopted telehealth for easy and efficient engagement between healthcare providers and patients. The digitization of health services helps to achieve easy patient management.
Digital management tools have proved effective in scheduling, follow-up, and patient information management. With digital innovations, reduced cost of data, easy access, and other factors, these tools will make medical services even more accessible for everyone.
Understanding these tools is essential as they can help ease pressure in the health system and give patients better services. Let’s take a look at digital patient engagement tools, how they work, and why you need them.
What Are Digital Patient Engagement Tools?
Digital patient engagement tools are 24/7 services that enable patients to take charge of their health monitoring. The tool combines devices, software, and other services to engage with medical experts remotely. Through digital patient engagement, people can easily enjoy remote and real-time service access without the need to visit a facility in person.
Digitization of health services involves a combination of resources. It integrates technology and medical services, making access easy for providers and patients. These services largely depend on integrating the Internet of Things(IoT), web services, apps, sensors, and smart devices. Through synchronizations, it enables easy and real-time interaction between patients and providers.
These are some of the top engagement tools in the health sector:
- Virtual waiting room
- Digital appointment scheduling
- Online provider search
- Online billing
- Self-service kiosk
- Patient Portal
- Remote patient monitoring
- Customized apps
- Education newsletters
- Ongoing patient education
- Patient satisfaction survey
- Artificial intelligence
How Do Digital Patient Engagement Tools Work?
Digital health tools rely on Information technology, internet connectivity, and software, among others, to function. Unlike past days when everything was manual, engagement tools utilize the latest technology to fulfill different tasks automatically.
Typically, the system architecture aims to improve efficiency and accessibility and save time and cost. It functions by incorporating different technologies to achieve a harmonized and easy-to-use platform. The engagement tools use telemedicine, telehealth, electronic health records, mobile health apps, electronic medical records, and others to achieve the purpose.
All the technologies mainly rely on internet connectivity to communicate and function properly. For instance, when a patient uses a sensing device like an oximeter, doctors can monitor the patient’s oxygen remotely and in real-time using an app as long as there is internet connectivity. Real-time and longtime monitoring help manage patients who are far away without needing to visit medical facilities.
The advancement in medical technology allows the software to offer multiple functions. They can enable easy monitoring while keeping up-to-date patient data. These electronic records keeping and other useful features make the engagement tools necessary.
Why Are Patient Engagement Tools Necessary?
Medical providers are gearing toward the utilization of digital engagement tools. They are becoming game changers since they have many benefits associated with digitization. After the outbreak of covid-19, the use of virtue patient engagement tools spiked significantly. Of all patients seeking medication during the US pandemic, 60% used virtual means. With 90% claiming the services were better than visiting medical facilities, this has seen virtual medical engagements rise.
Usually, offering a patient digital engagement platform allows medical facilities to compete efficiently. If you want to add medical digitization, you will enjoy the following benefits.
- Great For Boosting Hospital Reputation
One way hospitals are improving their reputation is by increasing their online presence. Unlike regular social media use, adding virtual medical tools boosts reputation. Customers can leave reviews after using the services when you include surveys and feedback in your tools. With more positive reviews, it’s also easy to rank well in web searches like Google business pages.
- Improved Customer Satisfaction
Using digital tools is one of the ways to boost staff productivity. Since there is no direct contact with patients, it helps in reducing their workload. Less work improves staff morale hence offering better services and enhancing customer satisfaction. Also, using digital tools is efficient since there is high automation. Records are updated and organized automatically once patient data is entered into the system.
- Cost Saving
One of the notable advantages of using digital engagement tools in the medical sector is the cost issue. These tools are cost-saving for patients and medical facilities. The patients save money spent on regular visits to the facility; transport cost is eliminated while virtue consultation fee is less.
On the hospital side, there is a reduction in running the facility. You can run a hospital with a reduced number of staff since one individual can attend to more people virtually than physically.
- Patients Get More Self-Control
Once patients are part of your engagement tools, there is great freedom in how the patient interacts with these digital services. Since medical experts can monitor patients remotely, they can make recommendations. The customizations in the system also allow configurations depending on the requirements. Allowing patients to use and manage their tools independently makes them feel satisfied and part of the team.
Do Digital Engagement Tools Experience Limitations?
Although many benefits are associated with digital medical tools, they also have disadvantages. Regardless of how good a tool is, it can’t be 100% perfect. Therefore, these digital tools experience limitations like the ones listed below.
- Poor internet connectivity
- Complexity of use
- Lack of training
- Lack of education
- Unmotivated patients and staff
If you want your medical facility to compete effectively, digital engagement tools are a must-have. Although adding these tools might seem like much work, they are easy to use once you incorporate them into your system. With technology improving daily, virtual care through digital tools is the future of medical services.