Healthcare systems are growing at a rapid rate, changing the playing field of healthcare services. The patient-centered care movement places increasing importance on patient engagement in clinical decision-making (HealthLeaders). The key is knowing when to engage them.
What Is a Patient Journey & Why Is It So Important?
You may have heard the term ‘patient journey’, which straightforwardly signifies a patients’ journey through the process of choosing a provider and scheduling an appointment. But where exactly does it begin? Is it the moment they reach for their phones or long before they even realize they need to schedule an appointment?
The Journey Begins With Patient Education, Before They Even Know To Ask For It
The patient-centered care movement is creating much more informed consumers, which reflects in their engagement process and decision-making behaviors. Shared decision-making and early patient engagement are critical outcome measures for patient satisfaction.
Patients will engage with certain information before they are even ready to make an appointment, and this early activation is key in identifying patient values and preferences, marking the beginning of their journey. Identifying preferences increases compliance with the subsequent plan of care and treatment (CMS). Higher-activated patients are 9x more likely to feel that their treatment plans reflect their values, 4.5x more likely to cope with side effects, and 3x more likely to initiate a healthier diet (Patient Education & Counseling).
Leveraging The Patient Journey is a Crucial Component of Engagement
High patient engagement is not enough to engage patients in self-care. How and when you provide patients with the right information is key. Engaging them early in the care process with a plethora of information about testing, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, aftercare, and financial considerations can be overwhelming and likely to fail. Instead, it is crucial to leverage the patient journey by delivering education when a person is most likely to engage in it.
What we want is to engage the patient early in the diagnosis, deliver the right information at the right time throughout their journey, and engage in shared decision-making. The earlier you engage the patient, the better the relationship you will develop.
At the end of the day, a shared decision-making (SDM) model is significantly more likely to hook the trust and engagement of patients. By building a provider-patient relationship and partnership in the development of a care and treatment plan, we can improve the patient experience and, simultaneously, satisfaction. Better patient experience leads to more patients, which means more revenue. It saves the provider money and increases patient lifetime value (Keona). It’s the building block of a successful health practice.
Streamline your organization’s patient experience with the help of Levo Health’s team of specialists. Call us today at (813) 235-0830 or email [email protected] for more information.