How Engagement Technology Improves Patient Adherence

August 31, 2022 | By The InteliChart Team

Doctor implementing engagement technology to improve patient adherence

Ensuring proper patient adherence to prescribed medications and treatment plans is a must for healthcare practices and providers—but it’s also easier said than done. Ever-evolving consumer and patient expectations can be challenging for practice staff to accommodate; however, doing so is essential for achieving positive health outcomes.

Fortunately, healthcare practices can use technology to engage and empower patients to follow their providers’ recommendations and improve patient adherence.

Relationship Between Patient Adherence and Engagement

When patients are engaged, they are more likely to adhere to treatment plans and take their medications as prescribed. As a result, engaged, adherent patients are more likely to make healthy lifestyle choices and achieve positive outcomes. According to the World Health Organization, patient adherence can have a more direct impact on health outcomes than a specific treatment itself.

On the other hand, poor patient adherence can lead to worsening health conditions, adverse effects, increased visits to the emergency department, prolonged hospitalization, and more. In fact, research shows that nonadherence contributes to more than $500 billion in avoidable healthcare costs, around 125,000 potentially preventable deaths, and up to 25 percent of hospitalizations in the U.S. each year.

Using Technology to Improve Patient Adherence

Healthcare practices and providers need the right strategies and tools in place to engage patients, and in turn, improve their medication and treatment adherence. Here are three engagement strategies you can try to boost patient adherence:

1. Offer the right tools to encourage health ownership.

Today’s patients and consumers expect autonomy and transparency to help craft and guide their own healthcare journey. Offering a patient portal with self-service engagement tools puts patients in the driver’s seat, encouraging them to be their own health advocates and make healthy lifestyle choices. 

One of those choices is proper patient adherence: By giving patients easy access to medical records and the ability to request prescription refills online, your practice can increase the likelihood that they will adhere to providers’ prescribed medications and specific treatment recommendations. Plus, offering the digital tools that patients want and expect from their providers also reduces churn and supports practice growth.

2. Ensure strong patient-provider communication.

Effective patient-provider communication is paramount when it comes to ensuring proper adherence. Building strong patient relationships with two-way communication helps boost engagement, giving providers the opportunity to educate patients on the importance of adherence and ensure each patient understands their unique treatment plan.

You can improve patient-provider communication by offering access to a patient portal with secure, two-way messaging between patients, practice staff, and providers. It’s also important to reach out proactively to stay connected to patients between appointments, which can be automated with the right engagement technology.

3. Deploy targeted, personalized interventions.

In some cases, outreach is the best way to engage patients and inspire them to improve their adherence. Interventions can boost patient adherence in high-risk populations, such as those who are at risk of becoming nonadherent or treating a chronic condition.

To maximize the effectiveness of patient interventions, you can use tools such as InteliChart’s Patient Activate to automate campaigns focused on improving adherence. This not only saves time and resources but also allows providers to take a more targeted, personalized approach that’s more likely to resonate with each individual.

Setting the Stage for Healthy Outcomes with Modern Tools

With the right strategy and patient engagement technology, you can set the stage for better adherence and healthier outcomes. Additionally, using modern solutions to automate manual tasks improves workflow efficiency, reduces practice staff workloads, and minimizes staff and provider burnout, ultimately leading to a better healthcare experience for patients.

That being said, practices and providers need access to a full platform of integrated engagement solutions in order to deliver patient-centric care and truly bring their initiatives to life. With a tool for each stage of the healthcare journey, you can engage patients every step of the way, staying connected to them between visits and achieving better patient management—all of which result in healthier outcomes.

Maximize Your Patient Engagement Opportunities