When the Government hands you regulations, make lemonade.
Patient engagement on the web is rapidly progressing. You can either passively let it happen or you can take charge and shape that interaction.
We suggest you take charge.
If you are a Medicare or Medicaid provider, you’ve heard the phrase “meaningful use of Electronic Health Records.” Recent regulatory changes, ARRA * and HITECH,** provide incentives to introduce computers into practices and patient care.
That’s the carrot. The stick is coming in the form of reduced payments if you don’t introduce computers into your practice.
This blog isn’t about the government programs and acronyms, it’s about finding opportunities in the new requirements.
Like it or not, we have a new way of doing business, make the most of it. Let’s make lemonade out of those lemons…and here is the way to begin.
THE PATIENT PORTAL: Part of meaningful use is engaging the patient in his or her own care. Patient Portals help to achieve this goal. A certain percentage of your patients must access this portal in order for your practice to qualify for the meaningful use incentives and to avoid the reduced payments.
How patients arrive at this portal is highly dependent on your guidance…therein lies the opportunity.
THE STRATEGY – DIRECTING THE PATH: Did you every hear a news story where the broadcaster says “for more information, visit our website.” They direct you to their website where you find, not only what you are looking for, but you also see everything else that they have to offer.
APPLYING THE STRATEGY: Instead of giving your patients a direct link to the patient portal, send them to your practice’s website instead. By FIRST directing them to the main website, they see other products, services and programs that you have to offer. After they have seen your home page, THEN they click on the patient portal to enter their data.
Let’s look at a dental office. A patient who is coming in for a routine exam, could see that you offer tooth whitening at a discount for new patients. She may add that service to her visit, because she saw it on the website. It’s a classic “cross-sell”.
ACHIEVING THE GOAL: But the ultimate benefit is much bigger than cross-selling services.
1. By driving patients to your website to access the patient portal, you increase website traffic…
2. When your website is more active, your search engine ranking increases…
3. A higher search engine ranking means more people will find your site when they search…
4. When more people reach your site, that translates into new patients and increased business!
ENJOY THE LEMONADE: The new regulations can work to your benefit! Patient interaction on the internet is increasing. Take advantage of this increased activity to better promote your office and bring you new patients.
*ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) **HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act)