What’s the ROI of Patient Engagement?
Let’s talk about ROI. Most have heard that term used a lot in marketing-speak, and everyone wants better ROI — even medical practices. But what is it? Simply put, it’s a comparison between the investment made and the return gained. Even medical practices can use ROI to determine whether their marketing efforts are effective and profitable.
It’s easy to measure ROI for things like advertising and website development, but how can practices measure something like patient engagement? It’s not exactly the most straightforward thing to measure. And how does something more nebulous like patient engagement translate into financial return. This post should shed some light on the topic.
Finding the ROI of Patient Engagement
It’s not typical to think of a medical practice as a business, but the similarities are many. A medical practice is a service business that needs to generate revenue and profit — just like any other business. To be successful, it needs to attract new patients while keeping existing ones happy — just like any other business.
Although it’s not strictly quantifiable in the same way as other metrics, patient engagement does manifest in a variety of direct and indirect ways that practices can measure and improve. And all of this, in the end, means more revenue for the business.
Patient Loyalty Over Time
One of the most important ways that patient engagement shows itself is through loyalty over time. Patients who are more engaged with a practice are more likely to stick around over time, which increases the odds of retaining them until they leave treatment. The longer a patient sticks around, the better you can guide them toward positive medical outcomes and the more revenue you will generate for the practice.
Whenever patients are happy with their care, they’re more likely to tell others about it. When a patient has a good experience with a provider, they are more likely to refer that provider’s services to family members or friends who are looking for treatment. This is exactly the kind of organic word-of-mouth marketing that any practice wants.
Tracking referrals is not always easy, but there are ways to get it done. Offices using electronic medical records (EMRs) that record patient referrals can use that data to track the number of referrals made by each patient. This will allow them to see which patients are referring others and how often. They can also look at the quality of the referrals and see if they are being referred to the right specialists or doctors.
Patients Who Schedule Appointments More Often
The more engaged patients are with their provider, the more likely they are to schedule appointments for routine care and follow-up appointments. This is an excellent way to track patient engagement ROI, since it’s easy to calculate how much revenue each appointment generates.
In addition, patients who schedule appointments are more likely to stick with their providers and continue receiving services from them. Medical practices with frequent customers, as it were, are more likely to keep their doors open, which means that they can continue providing services to the community.
Patients Taking Better Care of Themselves
Engaged patients tend to be more proactive about their health, which means they’re more likely to get flu shots, check their blood pressure regularly, take medications as prescribed, and follow dietary guidelines. Tracking these metrics lets healthcare providers know their patients are actually listening, which is an important indicator of engagement. Here, more engagement means healthier patients.
Tools for Monitoring Patient Engagement ROI
Tracking patient engagement ROI involves a number of tools and reporting methods, each with its own unique functions and benefits.
Sending out appointment reminders can help practices track patient engagement ROI by monitoring no-show rates and missed appointments. Engaged patients are less likely to miss an appointment on purpose.
Virtual visits are an important way to help patients engage with and feel comfortable with medical practices. Since these meetings are conducted entirely through the internet, it’s easy to track the number of patients who use them, as well as the average appointment length.
Use online scheduling software to improve patient engagement by making it easier for patients to schedule their appointments when they are ready. The software also allows them to view their appointment history, request refills, and more.
It can help track engagement by the number of patients who use the service, as well as how long they spend on it. This can give practices valuable insight into how well they’re serving patients’ needs.
Patient portals are an easy way to collect patient feedback and build relationships with patients. Practices can use portals to track engagement ROI by collecting data on how patients are engaging with the portal and how that engagement correlates to increased revenue.
Medication management tools are another popular technology for engaging patients and improving adherence. These tools allow patients to request refills, send messages to their providers, or connect with nurses for support through a secure messaging system. Monitoring engagement ROI through these tools can help practices improve patient satisfaction and retention.
Lab alerts provide real-time updates when lab results are ready for review by providers or patients. In terms of tracking patient engagement ROI, lab alerts simplify communication between patients and providers, who can then more easily schedule follow-up appointments or discuss test results.
Online Payment Tools
Online payment tools allow patients to pay their bills online or by phone instead of having to visit the office every time they need payment assistance or financial aid options. This helps increase patient satisfaction while also allowing them more flexibility in scheduling appointments. Tracking how the introduction of these tools aligns with revenue can help determine ROI.
Linking Patient Engagement ROI to Revenue Growth
By engaging patients in healthcare, both the patient and the physician stand to benefit in a great number of ways. Engaged patients are more likely to follow through with treatment recommendations, which may include medication compliance or exercise routines. This means fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations, which can save time and money for both patients and providers alike.
Working alongside a medical services organization like TRIARQ Health can help practices gain the tools they need to better engage patients and reap the benefits that come with it. It’s a way for providers to focus on strengthening their relationships with their patients instead of having to worry about the day-to-day logistics of managing their clinic.