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Improve patient engagement with mHealth, monitoring technology

Providing patients with mobile health technology, as well as reminder systems and options for virtual visits, can help keep them engaged in their healthcare.

Healthcare CIOs are constantly reminded of the importance of using technology to increase patient engagement and satisfaction in their organizations. But, with the different investment options in the marketplace, CIOs and chief medical information officers should focus on a handful of key areas to ensure they can gain true ROI to improve patient engagement and experience.

Where a patient decides to seek care can be influenced by the reputation of the hospital, which is often related to the overall patient experience. While it is tricky to map the direct impact of technology on patient satisfaction scores, it does make a difference in the patient experience and contributes to the overall level of engagement.

There are a number of opportunities where healthcare organizations can use technology to improve patient engagement.

Deliver patient information to mobile devices

Statistics from SimilarWeb showed that over 58% of website traffic comes from mobile devices, so patients likely prefer to gain access to their health information the same way. This is generally an important area for CIOs to consider if their organization doesn't have a mobile presence. A hospital can significantly improve patient engagement by rolling out a mobile app that provides patients with access to their health records, medications and other health data.

Keep patients on track with alerts and reminders

Another technology that can help patients with their medication, appointments and other key activities is a reminder system. This can be in the form of an app, an alert from voice-enabled smart speakers or an automated text or phone call. CIOs might want to consider reminder systems that integrate with their EHRs -- not just the scheduling software -- in order to provide meaningful alerts and reminders.

Adopt telemedicine to add more convenience

For some patients, the option to meet with their care provider remotely for a routine visit is a major benefit. Hospitals can achieve this convenience by adopting telemedicine platforms that offer video and audio communication tools that let patients connect with their care provider from their home computer or mobile device.

Monitor patients remotely

Hospitals should consider remote monitoring technology for patients suffering from chronic illnesses or other serious health issues. Having real-time or near-real-time access to relevant health data may help care providers detect problems and possible complications as they arise. This enables patients to remain engaged with their care provider even outside of the hospital.

Personalize patient education systems

Healthcare organizations often rely on generic patient education text- and web-based material around various conditions. A CIO should consider adopting patient education tools that provide various formats of educational content that can be personalized to the individual patient. Formats like audio, video, charts and virtual assistants or bots can be great ways to share information with patients and ensure they have a good understanding of the information their care provider wants them to see.

Patient engagement and the overall patient experience are two important areas where technology can have a positive impact. Having a strategy in place that can prioritize some of the key areas that new technology investments can help with will be a CIO's top priority. The impact can then be measured over time through surveys and adoption rate to ensure its effectivness.

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