Increasing Patient Engagement During COVID-19

COVID-19 has changed how all of us communicate. Chances are, you haven’t seen your patients in a while. So how can you increase patient engagement now?

The short answer: digital communication

During this time of self-isolation and quarantine, you can still use a digital communication tool to reach out to your patients. First of all, you will need to make sure you have a digital solution in place to communicate with your patients. Second, we all need to rethink our messaging. What do patients care about right now? How can we alleviate their concerns?  

Communicate changes 

After your ASC reopens, you will likely have a laundry list of new protocols and processes for keeping everyone safe and remaining compliant. You may need to adjust your waiting room policies. You will need to check temperatures at the front door. Patients want to know that you are thinking about how to minimize contact and prioritize their safety. 

Consider how implementing an option for them to fill out their paperwork online at home could increase safety. Will loved ones have to sit in the waiting room during surgery, or can you find a solution where you can text a patient’s established contact when they are ready to be picked up? As you implement these new policies, you can increase patient engagement by keeping them updated and informed about how you’re preparing to reopen. 

Use telehealth and pre-screening options

Telehealth options were growing rapidly before the pandemic—and COVID-19 has only skyrocketed patients’ interest in the option. As you prepare to reopen, can you complete some pre-screening consultations through telehealth? Can patients fill out their health history at home? Telehealth also allows providers to pre-screen patients for COVID-19 symptoms before scheduling any in-person appointments. 

Check in on them 

One of the most powerful ways to increase patient engagement is to make sure that your patients know you care. Social distancing and self-quarantining have brought up new stresses and anxieties for many of us. For patients battling chronic illnesses, COVID-19 has brought a whole new set of fears, and they may have concerns about what you will do to help protect them. 

Remind your patients that you are there to support them. Simply sending a message to let your patients know that you are concerned for them can go a long way in increasing patient engagement. 

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