The healthcare industry faces a significant labor shortage, with an estimated shortfall of more than one million workers by 2030.
A lack of workers is a growing concern for physicians and pharmacies. With fewer staff members available, keeping up with the demand for quality care and patient communication is becoming more challenging. However, there are ways to keep patients engaged and improve their overall healthcare experience, even with a limited number of employees. Pharmacists and healthcare providers can increase and encourage patient engagement using digital solutions and automating their repetitive manual tasks.
In this post, we’ll discuss what patient management technology is, how it keeps patients engaged by closing the patient communication gap, and how it helps reduce the stress caused by the healthcare shortage.
What is Patient Engagement Technology?
Patient management tools help medical staff engage patients securely and conveniently to improve the patient experience. They can be a combination of technologies, such as patient access software or patient portals, telehealth platforms, texting, or automated appointment reminders. These tools supply healthcare providers and pharmacists with invaluable insight into the medical journeys of their patients and can help improve outcomes. Engagement technology is becoming more critical to increasing patient loyalty, improving patient satisfaction, and overcoming the healthcare staffing shortage.
Patient engagement technology isn’t only useful for supporting patients during their treatment journeys. It is also helpful for developing new medication and treatment options for patients of the future through clinical trials. Learn how digital patient engagement technology can improve clinical trial outcomes here.
Bridging the Communication Gap
Digital tools can automate workflows, improve individualized treatment plans, and increase medication adherence. Traditional hub services and phone-based outreach programs aren’t enough to keep patients engaged and active in their care or refilling their medications. Pharmacists and doctors can use engagement tools to spend less time making calls, conducting over-the-phone assessments, reaching out with appointment reminders, or reminding patients about prescription refills. This creates a more effective and structured communication effort with the patient but requires less work from the staff.
With digital engagement tools, the patient can access their medication information through a secure patient portal, while pharmacists can answer questions and provide customized care to each patient’s needs.
Also, automatically exchanging medical information between pharmacists, providers, and patients can help improve the treatment plan and alleviate some of the pain of a staff shortage.
Sharing educational materials online with patients enhances their health literacy. It’s shown that patients who actively participate in their healthcare are more likely to follow medical advice and adhere to medication regimens. The goal is to give patients innovative ways to review their medical history and manage their health outcomes, so they value it more.
Adherence to medication and care plans is crucial for people with chronic illnesses. With easy access to a patient’s information, pharmacists and doctors can diagnose and treat a patient quickly and accurately. Increased visibility ensures that patients receive the most effective medication management. With almost 50% of patients never starting their specialty prescription treatment, patients engaged with their care are likelier to stick to their treatments. And better adherence means fewer readmissions to the hospital in the future.
By implementing patient management tools, pharmacies and clinics can effectively bridge the communication gap, ensuring the delivery of safe, effective, and efficient healthcare and improving patient satisfaction.
Enabling Pharmacies and Healthcare Providers Are Overcoming the Staffing Shortage
As shortage struggles continue, digital patient engagement tools reduce stress on staff and improve patient engagement. These tools enable hospitals and pharmacies to quickly and easily communicate with patients and ensure that each receives timely and appropriate care. By automating mundane tasks, such as prescription reminders, the limited staff can focus on more pressing tasks that require a human touch. Engagement tools not only streamline processes for staff but can also ensure that patient satisfaction remains high.
At D2, we help pharmacy and hospital managers improve patient engagement and outcomes with next-generation digital engagement tools and technology. If you’re looking to position your pharmacy or clinic for success, reach out to us to see how we can help you add value at every turn.