We’ve spent the past couple weeks talking about a four-hospital system in the Midwest that has used digital education to establish real-time patient-provider connections outside the hospital. These connections, delivered throughout the care episode, have focused on helping to guide or change patient behavior and achieve better outcomes.
What are the practical steps this hospital took to create an automated, engaging and impactful patient education program—one that lives up to the hype about patient engagement impacting care and cost? And, most importantly, how can you recreate it?
Read on for 8 key strategies to bridge the gaps between a physician’s direct care and patient self-care in order to control costs and outcomes throughout the patient journey:
- Know your data and processes. Establish your benchmarks and identify gaps in care.
- Identify the metrics you want to impact. Set goals and objectives.
- Select technology wisely. So often, technology implementations in healthcare become a drain on hospital staff time and resources. To avoid this trap, choose systems that can be easily integrated, customized and updated over time.
- Review the content you share with patients, along with when and how that information is being delivered. If it isn’t digital in today’s world, it simply won’t take.
- Customize your content to be sure your pain points—the outcomes you most want to impact—are directly addressed with clear guidance and expectations for patients.
- Put your EHR to work for you. Use it to automate enrollment and track the outcomes.
- Track both quantitative measures and qualitative patient-reported feedback. Patients can provide great insights for your team, and health outcomes can be measured to prove the efficacy of your education program.
- Evaluate and adjust iteratively to continuously spur workflow efficiencies, patient engagement and satisfaction.
To make patient education a standard of care at your hospital – and in a way that reaches all of your patients, don’t put the onus on them to remember usernames, passwords, URLs, or where they left that book of patient instructions. Use technology to help hospital staff do their jobs more efficiently and connect with patients in new and effective ways. Most importantly, keep it digital and easy to encourage optimal engagement and self-care.