Just like other parts of life, physical therapy is a team effort. It takes effort from both the physical therapist and the patient to succeed. If one or the other is not committed and engaged in the process, it will be difficult for either to make any progress toward healing and wellness. That is why patient engagement is a crucial thing to consider when creating a physical therapy plan for your patients. How can you keep your patient motivated and invested as they heal, even during a long recovery? Is there a way to track their progress between sessions? What if your patient doesn’t feel that their physical therapy plan is creating value for them?
Your patient’s success is directly tied to your reimbursement. So, it is in both of your best interests that your patient feels that they have achieved the best level of success from their physical therapy. Virtual physical therapy is no exception to this. Virtual physical therapy offers unique solutions to solving the problem of patient engagement. Advances in technology and long-distance patient care have made it more possible than ever to ensure our patients’ success.
Yet why exactly is patient engagement so crucial to virtual physical therapy? Read on to learn the answer to this burning question.
Why is patient engagement crucial to virtual physical therapy?
- Patient engagement lowers costs — Evidence shows that patient engagement leads to lower health care costs. This is true for both patients and providers. Patients who are involved in making decisions about their care tend to need fewer treatment sessions. When patients feel more empowered to make their own choices, they don’t feel the need to consult with their provider as often. This incurs fewer health care costs in the long run.
A study of more than 30,000 patients found that patients who were less engaged incurred costs 8% to 21% higher than engaged patients. According to researchers, this was due to a lack of confidence in patients’ ability to make health care choices. There is a proven correlation between patient engagement and lower health care costs.
- Patient engagement produces better results — Many patients find it difficult to navigate the world of modern health care. It is very complex, and patients may struggle to process basic health information. This lack of health care literacy can result in patients finding it difficult to follow instructions on how to care for themselves. They may not adhere to their treatment regimens, and fall behind in their progress.
It doesn’t help that many providers fail to provide the information patients need to make informed decisions about their care and treatment. Patients will feel that their care is out of their hands if they don’t know what all of their options are. In other cases, practitioners may provide the patient with too much information. This leaves them overwhelmed and lacking the confidence to make the right choice.
Making an effort to engage patients in their care arms them with the ability to make informed choices. The best thing a provider can do to help patient engagement is to provide patients with understanding, not just information.
- Engaged patients will promote your practice — The well-being of our patients should be our number one priority when providing care. Even so, a virtual physical therapy practice is still a business. Patients who feel that their physical therapist is encouraging them to be highly involved in their own care are far more likely to recommend your practice to their friends and family. Actively listening to our patients’ concerns also lets them know that their care comes first. Studies have shown that a customer, or a patient, will share a positive experience with an average of nine other people. Word of mouth is one of our best marketing tools, and patient engagement is the best way to get it.
- Patients expect to be engaged in their care — Older generations were more likely to leave their care completely in their provider’s hands. But modern patients expect a level of engagement in their care that has not been seen before the age of technology. The ability to stay connected to providers 24 hours a day is something that patients have come to expect from other services. Accessibility through different devices and integration with social media applications are also things that patients have come to expect. It only makes sense that virtual physical therapy should keep up with these trends as well.
- Patient engagement prevents misinformation — While the internet is a valuable tool for patient engagement, it is a double-edged sword. There is a wealth of health care information available online. Patients have more knowledge than ever at their fingertips. But without the engagement of their provider, they may fall for misinformation. This could cloud their ability to make informed health care decisions in the future. Investing in patient engagement early in the physical therapy process can keep your patients from becoming overwhelmed by too much information that they aren’t equipped to process.
How can I improve patient engagement through virtual physical therapy?
Virtual physical therapy offers unique solutions to solving the problem of patient engagement. Agile Virtual Physical Therapy is ready and equipped to help you achieve the best results for yourself and your patients. With the help of the very latest HIPAA-compliant telehealth software, we have modernized and advanced physical therapy practices that can help patients recover quickly. Patients will feel as though more of their care is in their own hands as they navigate the road to recovery.
At Agile Virtual Physical Therapy, we are dedicated to driving patient engagement and wellness. Our vision includes partnering with employers and other companies with similar values. We provide white-label service for companies looking to add virtual physical therapy to their roster of services. Turn to us to achieve the best results for your virtual physical therapy practice.
Contact our team today for more information on how to become an Agile Virtual Physical Therapy partner.