Doctors need to use different strategies when it comes to patient engagement for young and healthy patient populations.
Those strategies need to include the use of technology to ensure personal and convenient care, according to Patient EngagementHIT.
Young, healthy patients have fewer medical needs than patients with chronic diseases and seldom have to visit the doctor more than once or twice each year. But physician practices should still try to engage them, the article notes.
Engagement strategies should focus on leveraging health IT, forging strong connections and making care easy and convenient. To do that, the article suggests these physician practices:
Provide tools such as a patient portal to help patients keep in touch and to answer questions. Young patients want to be able to access their medical records online. During appointments, educate patients about the tools your practice has available.
Use telehealth services. One survey showed 60% of younger, healthier patients support telehealth. They are also interested in wearable devices and mobile health applications. There's also growing poltical support for telehealth. A group of six senators from both sides of the aisle reintroduced a bill in May, known as the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2017, to expand Medicare coverage for telehealth services and remote patient monitoring.
Build a rapport with patients who still value face-to-face interactions with providers. Make adequate time for discussion and to answer questions. Greet patients with a smile and make eye contact to create a positive experience.
Make care convenient. That will help ensure patients will call when they need care or are due for an annual wellness visit. Make appointment scheduling easy with an efficient call center or with online scheduling.