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A patient engagement solution for a medical practice refers to a set of tools, technologies, and strategies designed to actively involve patients in their healthcare journey, improve communication between patients and healthcare providers, and enhance overall patient experience and satisfaction. At the same time, it should make staff lives easier and their tasks more streamlined.

A patient engagement solution, ideally, should support the entire patient journey, and form a closed loop patient experience. This spans from before the visit to after the visit.

Key solutions for patient engagement

The following are components of efficient patient engagement software. You may use this list as a sort of “wish list.”

Patient self-scheduling: Patient self-scheduling is an important feature for any practice. Because 25% of patients schedule appointments after hours, an online self-scheduling solution can provide open slots whenever, wherever. This can lead to more filled schedules, increased patient loyalty, and higher revenue earned. An added benefit— staff focus on exceptions only, and are free to complete other duties.

Mobile digital intake: Your intake process should be simple and stress-free for both patients and staff. Relying on clipboards, kiosks, or tablets is not ideal for anyone. Also, some software solutions rely on advertisements to offset costs. Be wary of this, as this frustrates many patients, and often serves as a barrier to form completion. Patients are often more comfortable using their own phone to fill out forms, and are more likely to do this ahead of their appointment. Give them what they want, and give your staff a break.

Eligibility verification: Consistent eligibility verification, integrated seamlessly within your health IT ecosystem is a feature to look for. In the current healthcare climate, you want to eliminate any possible risks that threaten collection of money earned—especially as payers continue to reduce reimbursement rates. Eligibility services can help your organization increase cash flow and reduce denials.

Integrated payment processing: A patient payment solution should simplify staff workflow, lower barriers to capturing revenue, and reduce billing costs. With this type of solution, you can eliminate the manual process of payment posting into the Practice Management (PM) system. Also, patients appreciate the ability to pay their bills online, and are more likely to do so in full and on time.

Additional features: You may also want to look at features such as an automated waitlist, reputation management, referral system, recall messaging, and Instant Medical History (IMH) for capturing data from forms and sending it to the EHR. These features may make a huge difference for your practice.

The secret to success

All of the above capabilities are key to a successful patient engagement experience. However, one important detail remains. Can you find all of this under one vendor? And should you? The answer to both is yes. Multiple vendors can create chaos. Lack of integration, multiple invoices, and communication confusion are among the many issues with this “Frankenstein” approach. With the entire patient journey falling under one vendor, you can ensure seamless information exchange and enhanced compatibility.

NextGen Healthcare partnered with Luma Health and InstaMed to provide everything you need from one vendor. Explore the benefits of single vendor consolidation for patient engagement.

Meet NextGen Ambient Assist, your new AI ally that generates a structured SOAP note in seconds from listening to the natural patient/provider conversation.

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Roy Gill Headshot

Roy Gill, MD, FAMIA

VP, Clinical Affairs and Patient Safety at NextGen Healthcare

I joined NextGen in 2009, working first as a Physician Consultant, Director of Clinical Content under the Chief Medical Officer, and now as Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Patient Safety. A Family Physician by training with nearly 20 year of practice experience, I became interested in Clinical Informatics (CI) in the late 1990's as my institution was adopting an EHR. I became a Physician Champion and began to dive even deeper into Informatics. I eventually earned a Graduate Certificate in CI from Oregon Health and Science University and became Board Certified in CI in 2015 (as well as earning a Six Sigma Black Belt somewhere along the way). It's an exciting time to be working at NextGen, as we vastly improve attention to improving outcomes, patient safety, client needs, quality, and the evolving needs of our clinicians and the industry.