How Patient Engagement Can Reduce Physician Burnout & Improve Health Outcomes
Often, doctors get lost in the “noise” of the healthcare system. With insurance regulations to navigate, government mandates and technological developments, it’s easy to lose sight of the man or woman in the white coat who is supposed to dispense the care.
Doctors, like everyone else, only have so many work hours in a day, and if those work hours are being nibbled away by paperwork, routine patient follow-up and even collections, then that takes time away from their most important mission: care.
Here are five ways patient engagement can decrease physician burnout and help improve patient health outcomes.
1. Automated Patient Engagement
Anything that can shift the peripheral workload of the physician on another platform is a win for everyone, and one of the ways to do that is to automate care. Becker’s Hospital Review sums it up this way:
“Automated engagement with patients outside of the care setting is so effective because it extends the physician-patient relationship without adding to the physician’s workload.”
Automated digital communications, such as those offered by PatientBond, can allow patients to exchange information with their healthcare providers on their own time and terms. Harvesting this data through automated engagement is like lifting a giant weight off the shoulders of a physician, and that creates better care.
2. Psychographic Insights
Patient engagement is critical in improving the health of populations and managing chronic and episodic care. But much of the current patient engagement market utilizes one-size-fits-all solutions, which minimizes impact and causes messaging fatigue.
In contrast, PatientBond uses a unique and proven healthcare consumer psychographic segmentation model. It is embedded within a highly configurable, robust and scalable technology platform, which can deliver millions of personalized communications daily.
Every communication (text, voice, email, app) is infused with psychographic segment-specific keywords and messaging designed to resonate with each patient’s core beliefs and personality, thereby motivating them to better manage their health and wellness.
These automated, personalized communications can remind patients to take their medicine, tell them of upcoming appointments, ask follow-up questions and much more. This absorbs tasks traditionally reserved for physicians and their staffs, which gives them all the more time to focus on care. Learn more about how patient loyalty can improve your organization’s ROI through PatientBond.
Chatbots are appearing on websites now from all types of industries and businesses. Market research firm Grand View estimates that the global chatbot market will be worth $1.23 billion by 2025, and a large portion of that will be in healthcare.
Many patient anxieties and questions can be improved with chatbots on a healthcare provider’s website. A patient’s conversation with a chatbot can lead to some excellent insights into the patient's health, as the chatbot can harvest real-time information from the patient. Patients are becoming increasingly comfortable communicating with chatbots, and that’s leading to more holistic portraits of their health.
For example, if a patient has a quick question about how much medicine to take or whether that rash could be shingles, AI-driven chatbots can help “triage” potential patients by either dispensing advice or directing them to the hospital.
4. Artificial Intelligence
The wonders of AI have been well documented in the operating room, but they can also help in another area: the back office. Work that has nothing to do with patient care — such as filing paperwork and transcribing notes — consumes over half (51 percent) of a nurse’s workload and nearly one-fifth (16 percent) of physician activities. AI-infused programs can reduce the workload, and that can help decrease burn-out. Consider:
“This ability to free up workload is essential, but perhaps, even more, is the ability for artificial intelligence to enhance patient engagement.”
A survey of 2,300 adult patients showed that three-quarters of patients need technology to help manage their health. This is up from the 2016 report, which showed that 73 percent of patients use technology to manage their health.
Increasingly, patients are feeling comfortable with AI, and the more it can be used to reduce physician workload and burnout, the better patient health outcomes will be.
5. Automated Before and After-care
Improving communications with patients before and after doctor visits can create a more holistic picture of the patient’s wellness. Medcity News describes how crucial this before and after-care can be in creating a communications corridor:
“Fifty-four percent of physicians said they want help connecting to patients before and after their visits. Those surveyed said they’re interested in using a variety of technologies to connect with patients outside the office, including email (59 percent), mobile apps (48 percent) and SMS texting (39 percent).”
The bottom line is that anything that can take the workload off physicians’ desks is a good thing. Technology can stamp out physician burnout by removing rote, repetitive tasks and freeing up the physician up to offer more direct care — and improve health outcomes in the process.
To learn more about how you can improve health outcomes with PatientBond, click here.