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The Power of Digital Patient Engagement: A Guide to Improving Healthcare 

Life Sciences & Healthcare

November 25, 2023

Digitalization has revolutionized the way healthcare providers engage with their patients. Digital technologies enable patients to navigate increasingly complex healthcare systems and feel more connected with their healthcare providers. With the help of digital patient engagement, patients are more likely to get better care and solutions, make positive lifestyle changes, and achieve better health outcomes. They are also more satisfied with their care and more likely to recommend their healthcare providers to others. 

On the provider side, digital technologies enable healthcare service providers to keep an open line of communication with their patients. Investing in digital patient engagement technologies results in enhanced daily practice efficiency, which eases the workload. Moreover, costly interventions and readmissions can be reduced by fostering patient engagement, resulting in overall healthcare cost savings. 

What is Digital Patient Engagement? 

Digital patient engagement involves using digital technologies to provide medical care to patients actively. This can include giving patients access to medical records, communication tools, and information such as appointment scheduling, check-ins, billing, reviews, surveys, request management during admissions, and ongoing services to promote their well-being. Digital patient engagement can incorporate digital tools like wearables, mobile devices, patient portals, and self-service kiosks. This approach goes beyond traditional patient engagement methods by leveraging technology to improve communication between healthcare providers and patients, manage the patient-provider relationship, and offer medical and educational resources. 

By embracing digital patient engagement tools, healthcare providers gain a deeper understanding of the patient’s perspective. They can provide information that improves patients’ comprehension of their illness and available treatment options. This process fosters trust and cultivates long-lasting positive relationships with patients and their support systems. 

Moreover, meticulously designed digital health technologies can widen access for underserved communities. By enabling remote access, these technologies can overcome barriers such as geographic location, age, ethnicity, language, and socioeconomic status to ensure that all patients have equitable access to healthcare information. 

Why Digital Patient Engagement in Healthcare is Important? 

Digital patient engagement in healthcare is increasingly important today as physical presence is no longer a requirement for many aspects of care. The proliferation of mobile devices and easy access to the internet has revolutionized consumer industries. The healthcare industry is leveraging it to improve patient communication, reduce manual work, and keep patients better informed about their care. This shift focuses on automating scheduling and communication, effectively harnessing software solutions to enhance patient education, reducing waiting times, and improving the overall patient experience. 

By leveraging digital technologies, healthcare facilities can streamline processes and provide coordinated, personalized, and accessible health services. Patient engagement platforms that enable active collaboration between healthcare providers and patients without requiring physical presence have resulted in better patient outcomes and lower healthcare spending. Patients need a responsive and transparent health service that prioritizes patient engagement. 

In a patient-centered healthcare ecosystem, care providers can communicate medical information—track, prevent, and treat diseases while educating about better health and wellness through smartphones, wearables, telehealth, and telemedicine. AI and machine learning-led solutions have elevated the standards of improving engagement platforms and enriching the patient’s journey as they assist in gaining unprecedented insights into improving diagnostics and care processes. 

Digital transformation of healthcare facilities requires robust integration and interoperability of the virtual engagement platform with the facility’s existing infrastructure. This is critical for achieving early disease diagnosis, preventing rehospitalization, speeding up patient payments, and improving adherence to treatment plans. Patients around the globe are increasingly welcoming digital health services, and healthcare providers need to adapt to these changes by building a holistic digital presence and a robust engagement platform to give their patients more personalized and meaningful experiences. 

Key Benefits of Digital Patient Engagement 

Digital patient engagement platforms have revolutionized healthcare by offering numerous benefits for patients and healthcare providers. Here are the key benefits of digital patient engagement platforms that have gained significant attention in the healthcare industry: 

  1. Improves Patient Outcomes: Patient engagement software offers personalized care and is the most viable method for scaling high-quality information, exercises, and communications without additional personnel. Consistent and reliable data collection allows care teams to allocate more time to a patient’s recovery. 
  1. Improves Patient Experience & Satisfaction: Digital platforms allow continuous communication and information access, improving patient satisfaction and outcomes. Patients can conveniently complete care assignments and recover from the comfort of their homes, saving time and reducing stress. 
  1. Boosts Hospital Reputation: Hospitals can encourage patients to provide positive feedback, improving their web-based engagement and building trust. Patient reviews can also help identify gaps in care processes, enabling them to improve and enhance their reputation. In addition, by leveraging patient feedback and insights, hospitals can identify areas where they can increase services to meet the needs of their patients better. 
  1. Streamlines Process for Higher Payer Reimbursements: Patient engagement tools collect huge data pools of patient information to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) with interoperability, enabling higher reimbursements and revenue streams while reducing care variability and readmission rates. 

Digital patient engagement platforms have emerged as a powerful toolset, bringing significant advantages to patients, care teams, and healthcare organizations. By embracing these platforms, healthcare organizations can optimize care delivery, enhance patient experiences, and achieve better overall outcomes. 

5 Strategies to Improve Digital Patient Engagement 

The health and well-being of patients are a top priority for healthcare professionals, and fostering digital patient engagement plays a vital role in achieving this objective. Active participation can improve outcomes and healthier habits, making it a valuable tool for promoting overall wellness. Here are five digital patient engagement strategies: 

  • Patient Identification: Segmentation provides detailed insights into patient risks, diagnoses, and coverage. Identifying patients in different segments helps healthcare providers better understand unique care needs and determine optimal strategies for delivering care. 
  • Patient Education: Clear communication, education on medical conditions, and helping patients find resources and medications enhance compliance and improve health behaviors and outcomes. 
  • Shared Decision-Making: Collaborative decision-making between clinicians and patients is essential in selecting appropriate tests, treatments, and care plans based on clinical evidence. Implementing a shared decision-making program reduces hospital admissions, provides better care, and improves clinical outcomes. 
  • Continuous Monitoring and Care: Delivering constant care and implementing remote monitoring solutions can improve patients’ health and lives. Consistent engagement helps patients feel more satisfied and cared for, resulting in a positive healthcare experience and increased adherence to care plans. 
  • Lessening Barriers to Care: Virtual care solutions bridge the gap in care by offering opportunities to reach and care for patients who lack access to care and ensure patients receive timely and appropriate care. 

Implementing digital patient engagement frameworks fosters patient-focused solutions and can lead to better patient outcomes. Healthcare providers should prioritize active patient participation to improve overall wellness and ensure patients receive optimal care. 

Hexaware’s Digital Patient Engagement Solutions 

Hexaware’s digital patient engagement solutions are revolutionizing pharma companies’ patient engagement. Hexaware provides the right digital strategy for concisely positioning brands, leveraging the right tools and technology to improve patient experience and enable commercial teams to better understand patient and healthcare provider needs. Hexaware’s integrated digital patient experience and data management platform provides a centralized system of engagement to improve patient engagement and collaboration among HCPs, caregivers, and pharma teams. The platform transforms the patient’s journey through a consistent, personalized omnichannel experience and virtual care for patient satisfaction. 

Hexaware has a proven track record of working with leading pharma and medical device companies, including one of the largest global CROs supporting pharma companies. With our help, they were able to build a patient recruitment solution that led to 2X faster recruitment of patients for trials across multiple therapeutic areas. 

For a multinational pharmaceutical and diagnostics company, Hexaware implemented an orchestrated HCP engagement platform focusing on physician customer centricity. This platform allowed physicians to collaborate with the commercial team across multiple channels, enabling sales and marketing digitization for coordinating all customer touchpoints across the sales and marketing functions. 

Pharma companies can transform their patient engagement strategies by partnering with Hexaware. Our solutions are designed to help pharma companies improve patient experience, better understand patient and healthcare provider needs, and bring the right medicines to patients at the right time. With Hexaware’s expertise, pharma companies can successfully transform towards enhanced patient engagement strategies and remain patient-centric in a highly competitive market.  

About the Author

Teun Schutte

Teun Schutte

As an expert in digital strategy and human-centered innovation in healthcare and life science, Teun Schutte is the Managing Consultant and Life Science Practice Lead, Mobiquity.

Teun joined Mobiquity in 2016 to strengthen the team with his life science, healthcare and digital experience. He has worked with the Princess Maxima Centre for Pediatric Oncology to redefine the patient pathway from the perspective of the family and supported many pharmaceutical companies with designing, validating, and implementing digital solutions and their business models.

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