Patient engagement is a critical factor in the healthcare industry. If patients are not engaged, they are less likely to stick to their treatment plan or even show up for their appointments. This can lead to all sorts of problems, including increased patient care costs and worse health outcomes. In this blog post, we will showcase some healthcare app features that engage users and improve patient outcomes.
Why patient engagement is so important for healthcare providers
Patient engagement is defined as active involvement of the patient in healthcare decisions and activities. It means taking an active role in managing one’s health, from understanding medical conditions to participating in preventive healthcare measures like getting vaccinations or screenings done. Effective patient engagement can lead to better self-management of diseases, improved adherence to treatment plans, and, as a result, better healthcare outcomes.
How the best healthcare apps engage patients
Healthcare apps can be incredibly useful in facilitating patient engagement. Features like personalized health tracking, reminders for appointments and medications, or access to medical records can all help increase patient engagement and create a better healthcare experience overall. Additionally, healthcare organizations developing healthcare apps should consider gamification, virtual healthcare coaching, and patient support groups to further increase engagement.
Personalized health tracking
Personalized health tracking allows care providers and patients to track data points like blood pressure, glucose levels, or sleep habits. This data can then be used to identify trends and take appropriate action to manage the patient’s healthcare more effectively. With personalized health tracking, healthcare organizations are able to monitor their patients remotely, decreasing the need for in-person appointments, thus improving healthcare access.
Reminders for appointments and medications
Reminders are a great way to keep patients engaged in their healthcare. By sending out reminders for appointments and medications, healthcare organizations are able to ensure that their patients stay on top of their healthcare needs. These reminders can be sent through traditional methods such as text messages or emails, or through healthcare app's push notifications.
Discharge instructions and care plans
Discharge instructions and care plans are essential for healthcare organizations to ensure that patients understand their condition, how to manage it, and when to seek medical help if necessary. Providing detailed discharge instructions in a healthcare app can make sure that patients understand the information they need to manage their healthcare effectively.
Chronic disease management
Chronic diseases require ongoing healthcare management, and healthcare apps can offer some great features to assist in this. Features like symptom tracking, medication reminders, and healthcare chatbots can all help healthcare organizations manage chronic diseases more effectively. Additionally, healthcare providers should consider providing patient education materials such as videos or e-books that inform patients about their condition and how to manage it.
Healthcare apps can also be used to promote healthy lifestyle choices. Features like nutrition tracking, exercise tracking, and even sleep tracking can all help healthcare organizations guide their patients towards healthier living.
Home exercise programs
Home exercise programs are an essential part of physical and mental health care management. By providing home exercise programs in healthcare apps, healthcare organizations can ensure that their patients maintain a regular exercise routine and stay healthy.
Urgent care and telemedicine
Urgent care and telemedicine are becoming increasingly popular as healthcare organizations benefit from the convenience and cost-efficiency of providing healthcare remotely. By providing access to care providers through healthcare apps, healthcare organizations can ensure that their patients have access to medical help when needed.
Providing healthcare providers' profiles in healthcare apps can make booking appointments easier for patients and give them a better idea of who they will be seeing during their visit. Additionally, healthcare organizations should consider providing patient reviews to help other healthcare users make more informed health decisions.
Access to medical records
Having access to medical records can be incredibly helpful for healthcare providers and patients alike. With digital healthcare solutions, healthcare organizations are able to provide their patients with secure access to their medical records, allowing them to easily view test results, get prescription refills, or even message their healthcare provider. This can help streamline healthcare processes and make healthcare more convenient for patients.
Education and health literacy
Healthcare apps can be used to educate and reach out to patients. By providing educational materials such as videos, infographics, or e-books, healthcare organizations are able to engage their patients and ensure that they have access to the information they need in order to make informed healthcare decisions. Additionally, healthcare organizations should consider leveraging healthcare apps to provide healthcare advice or tips to their patients. All this leads to a more health literate care model, which benefits both the patients and the providers.
Chatbots can be incredibly helpful for healthcare organizations as they are able to provide healthcare information and resources to patients quickly and conveniently. These chatbots can also be used to provide healthcare reminders, advice on medication management, or even answer questions about healthcare procedures.
Gamification is a great way to engage healthcare users, particularly younger generations. It can involve rewarding patients with virtual points or badges for completing healthcare tasks, such as taking their medications or getting regular checkups. Gamification can also be used in other ways, such as educating patients about healthcare topics or motivating them to stick to a certain healthcare routine.
Virtual healthcare coaching
Virtual healthcare coaching is another great way to keep users engaged in their healthcare. By providing virtual healthcare coaches, healthcare organizations can help guide and motivate their patients to make healthier lifestyle choices and stick to their treatment plans. This can be done very effectively through healthcare apps.
Patient support groups
Patient support groups provide a great way for healthcare organizations to engage with their patients. By providing community features in healthcare apps, where users can connect and talk about healthcare topics or share their experiences, care providers are able to create an important support system for their patients.
What kind of healthcare app can benefit from these features?
Any healthcare organization looking to increase patient engagement would do well to consider developing a healthcare app with the above-mentioned features. Healthcare apps used in hospitals or healthcare clinics could benefit greatly from providing users with personalized health tracking tools and reminders. Additionally, healthcare apps used in emergency care or by primary care providers could make use of patient support groups to create a more engaging healthcare experience.
Improving physical and mental health outcomes through patient engagement
Overall, healthcare apps that provide patients with access to medical records, personalized health tracking tools, virtual healthcare coaching, reminders for appointments and medications, and patient support groups are sure to delight users and increase patient engagement. By incorporating patient engagement strategies into healthcare apps, healthcare organizations can ensure that patients are more likely to stick to their treatment plans and experience improved health outcomes as a result.