Hospital executives understand that strong relationships with individuals in their community are important to both community health and the financial health of the hospital.
While Patient Engagement is important and currently a hot topic, effective engagement starts before the individual becomes a patient and continues through and after instances of care. Community Hospitals invest today in a variety of free or unprofitable services to improve overall community health and to strengthen individual relationships. Examples include senior exercise classes or diabetes management classes. These programs, however, tend to focus on relatively narrow segments of the community. Inexpensive, common sense approaches can broaden engagement efforts.
Start with good defense and don’t become disenfranchised by “big tech”. Many regulations to open access to patient records seem to be motivated by their efforts to be the focal point for healthcare data and information. Ensure your patient portal consolidates patient records and offers valuable content. Leverage those things that only your portal can provide such as appointment reminders and bill payment. Regularly promote your portal and its features.
Consumers are inundated with information about health and wellness. It can be good, bad, and even dishonest, but mostly it has a commercial objective. Your hospital is a trusted brand in your community. You can provide regular engagement with individuals who may be prospective patients by leveraging that brand and trust. One good way is to build an extensive community mailing list and distribute a high-quality digital publication branded for you facility with content focused on a typical Community Hospital readership.
Good engagement also extends to independent clinicians in your community. Include them in your engagement efforts since many will not have the scale for a proprietary effort. Make sure that you have reduced technology barriers to good care and ease of use for both your inpatient and outpatient services.
MEDHOST is here for you. Through ongoing regulatory changes, we maintain a commitment to deliver timely, cost-effective solutions, to help hospitals save time and resources, reduce cost, maximize revenue, and create better experiences for the communities they serve.
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