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The effects of patient behavior on patient outcomes

Healthcare as we know it is changing, and this brings providers to a professional crossroads.

On one hand, programs like MIPS bring forth opportunities for physical therapists to prove their worth within the healthcare system (learn more about our ethos on MIPS here). For years surgeons and orthopedic specialists have always had a leg up and reaped the bigger financial rewards for the care they provided. Now with MIPS, PTs have the opportunity to directly compete with these providers and show the low cost, quality care they provide.

That’s a change we’re all ready to welcome.

But the regulations also include a caveat; if a provider doesn’t demonstrate excellent performance, they’re at risk for financial penalties. Even worse, they could get passed over when it comes to participating in value-based contracts.

It’s a major shift in how care is delivered, and changes are coming fast. Providers need to adapt quickly to reap the benefits, as delaying participation can result in major consequences–like a frozen reimbursement schedule.

Given these options, equipping your practice to deliver positive outcomes has never been more critical.

The effects of patient behavior

As a provider, it’s tempting to rely solely on a platform to drive, track and report patient outcomes. If you have the data and know what your outcomes are like, what more do you need, right?

But if you are only looking at your outcomes data without formulating a plan for how you intend to drive patients to take an active interest in their care inside and outside the clinic, you miss a critical element that is directly correlated to outcomes–active patient engagement.

Engaging your patients in between visits is key to not only understanding your outcomes data, but using it to make continuous improvements to the quality of care you provide.

How so, you ask?

Studies show that medical care is responsible for only 10 percent of a patient’s health and well being, but a whopping 40 percent is driven by patient behavior which plays a much larger role in long term health outcomes.

40 percent! 

That statistical difference is a significant reason why engaging your patients outside the walls of your office is critical to establishing good outcomes for your patients-what they do when they are not with you will have more of an impact on their health than the care they receive inside your clinic.

Patients who are encouraged to engage in a platform to complete  their exercises in between appointments, communicate with their provider in between visits, and read educational materials are much more likely to stick with the care program you assign and exhibit positive health behavior – this is where you see results that lead to a good outcome.

Another reason to prioritize patient engagement is that engagement informs your outcomes. Many clinics see a 20 percent improvement in overall outcomes just by seeing their patient satisfaction data, because it illuminates places where you can make improvements in how you engage your patients.

Engagement also leads to satisfied patients and satisfied patients produce exceptional outcomes. 

Take Patient A, for example. Patient A walks into a clinic and is handed lengthy paperwork to fill out, spends minimal time with their busy provider and receives no follow up or personalized care after they leave. They aren’t very likely to feel positive about their experience, are they?

Now, Patient B. Patient B has chosen a clinic that utilizes a patient engagement strategy and platform. The platform makes their digital health survey a breeze, it’s automated so they can see updated and personalized exercises after they leave, and when they have a quick follow up question, they can reach out via the platform and get an answer quickly from their provider.

That is the patient who is much more likely to be excited about coming back, motivated to jump in and get engaged – not to mention tell their friends and family about the great care provided.

A great experience goes a long way toward facilitating a good recovery, and better outcomes. If you don’t utilize patient engagement as a portion of your outcomes strategy, you’re missing out on the opportunity these two things afford one another.

In short, a two part strategy can make all the difference. 

When paired with an engagement strategy, patient outcomes improve exponentially. Simply, engaged patients are better patients and produce better outcomes. 

And as better outcomes will now give you a competitive advantage in MIPS and other value-based programs, exceptional performance can help you get the maximum possible value and the highest possible reimbursement for your clinic, all by simply engaging your patients.

That’s the power of combining performance data with an engagement platform that helps you get to where you need to go.

Learn how Keet can help support your patient engagement strategy here.