What patient engagement means in 2018
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What patient engagement means in 2018

Patient engagement can mean different things to different people, especially in the age of technology. In this article founder of patient engagement platform HotDoc, Dr Ben Hurst, reveals how he sees patient engagement evolving in 2018 as transcending beyond the four walls of the consultation room.

When HotDoc got off the ground in 2013, everything was nice and simple. We had a single solution, online bookings, and a single customer, my mum. Since then, we’ve developed five additional solutions (Recalls, Reminders, Patient Arrival, Repeats and Inform) with over 8,000 GP customers.

Now, when someone asks me what HotDoc does, things can get tricky. I explain that HotDoc is a Patient Engagement Platform for Australian medical centres. ‘Sure,’ they respond, ‘but what’s this patient engagement business?’
Patient engagement can mean different things to different people. For some it’s a fancy healthcare buzzword that means app downloads and clicks. HotDoc’s definition is more humanistic. We assume that a person doesn’t magically transform into a ‘patient’ the moment they step inside a medical centre. They are the same patient when they drop their kids off at school, take their dog for a walk and cook their families a steak dinner.

For us, patient engagement is a set of practice/patient interactions, which transcend the four walls of the consultation room and emphasise a proactive (rather than reactive) healthcare experience. Examples of these interactions include targeted health promotions, pre-appointment questionnaires and coaching programs (to name but a few).

We perceive that every time a patient makes a booking, receives a reminder or checks in on our platform is an opportunity to make him/her healthier.

  • Does the 25-year old student understand the importance of regular skin checks?
  • Has the 50-year old diabetic heard about the Care Plan offered by the practice?
  • Is the 75-year old pensioner aware he’s eligible for a free Herpes-Zoster vaccine?

In the patient engagement model, the practice is the coach, the patient is the captain and their relationship is strong and enduring. It is now possible to impact health outcomes through more frequent and targeted interactions across the continuum of the patient experience. I hope you, like me, am excited by the possibilities this holds for the future of healthcare.

For more information about HotDoc visit https://www.hotdoc.com.au.