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By: Stephen O'Connor

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February 24th, 2016

7 Questions to Help Gauge Your Patient Engagement ROI

Value-Based Care

Patient Engagement ROIHow much time, energy and money is your medical organization devoting toward boosting patient engagement? If you’re not sure of how much you’re expending, you won’t be able to figure out if you are getting the best return on your investment.

No matter how pressed you are for time, it’s never a good idea to make assumptions about your patients or to believe that they are going to be your patients forever. Improving engagement is key toward keeping patients happy and returning for services, as well as for referring new patients to your practice. Here are seven questions for you to ask when gauging your patient engagement ROI.

Seven Questions For You to Ask When Gauging Your Patient Engagement ROI

1. Always ask, “How did you find out about us?” when entering a new patient into your system. This will help you discover if patients found you through an advertisement, a personal recommendation, an online review or something that your staff put out through social media.

2. How often should we use social media? You don’t need to have someone babysitting each social media channel that your organization has signed up for, but it’s of paramount importance to come up with a schedule to ensure you don’t miss something said about you online.

3. Will a survey help get useful responses? If you have conducted surveys in the past, but were not pleased by the results (not because of the tone of the comments, but on the lack of response), consider trying again.

This time, vet the marketing team that will be assisting you with this project, making sure that you understand how much money you will need to spend to get an average number of verified responses.

4. What can the organization do to reach out to the community? Holding informational meetings, such as a lecture on a disease or new medical technique can bring people to see you and your esteemed medical professionals giving useful information to the public. This exposure further boosts patient engagement and potentially leads to new patients.

5. Is it really worthwhile to ask each patient for an email address? Making a commitment to use specialized marketing software that includes features for managing email blasts is not a task to take lightly. You know that useful emails will reach a largely receptive audience, but how effective will these email campaigns be in terms of drumming up new business?

6. Is it time to launch a patient portal? Many medical practices have found that patients appreciate being able to fill out their own information just once online instead of multiple times in various random paper intake sheets you provide them to work on in the waiting room. They also use the portal to ask questions of the staff and get lab test results on demand.

7. Does your practice have an effective website? Determine whether your practice’s website is working hard for you or just sitting online with a scant number of visitors. Before working with a new marketing and website development team, it would be prudent to ask for some numbers on how a new site or revamped site will engage patients and to what degree.

Many managers of medical practices have discovered the secret of paying better attention to patient engagement and will devote sufficient hours, time and money to that end. Often this is done with the help of third parties, such as companies that handle surveys, social media and other online marketing services. By asking these seven questions, you will be in a better position to increase patient engagement and reap the rewards that come from strengthening the ties you develop with each individual you see and treat.

Key Takeaway

  • Failure to understand just how much you are spending on patient engagement makes it difficult to calculate the patient engagement return on investment.
  • Make it a priority to have members of your team ask new patients how they found you.
  • Verify that your marketing dollars have a realistic chance of boosting engagement. Don’t fall for hype or “shortcuts” to boost engagement with people online.
  • A patient portal can definitely improve patient engagement. First, check with the software provider to see if the benefits of the portal will outweigh the costs involved.
  • You should also consult with website developers to see what the costs will be when upgrading the site to increase the level of engagement.

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About Stephen O'Connor

As a Director of Digital Marketing at Advanced Data Systems Corporation, Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional. He has a strong affinity for snow crab legs, the ocean, and Rutgers Football.

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