Navigating a Change in Patient Engagement Strategy

patient engagement

So, You’ve Made a Change at Your Practice

Managing change in a dental practice can be a daunting task. 

This can be especially true of patient engagement strategies, which often involve an overhaul of how your practice communicates. It can be challenging to judge whether your dental practice is managing change effectively.

Recently, Intiveo released a Guide to Managing Change at Your Practice, that included guidance on how to plan for an upcoming change at your practice. But the next question is: if your practice has decided to implement a new strategy – in this case, patient engagement – how are you going to judge if it’s going well?

Let’s dive in.

What Made You Shift Your Patient Engagement Strategy?

Before you decided to implement a new patient engagement strategy, there was probably something that needed to change. Let’s review what that might have looked like. You might have had high volumes of patients who:

  • Came unprepared for appointments
  • Failed to come to appointments
  • Didn’t arrive early enough to fill out forms
  • Were frustrated by the length or irrelevance of some forms
  • Were frustrated by the wait time when they arrived at the practice

You also might have had frustrated, burnt out staff. Managing frustrated patients can take a fairly serious toll on your staff’s mental health.

Once you made a plan to solve some of these issues, what rubric can you use to see if it has been a success?

Seeing Positive Outcomes

One step of your patient engagement plan might have included remaining aligned with your practice’s core values. These can provide your practice with a strong foundation. Having clearly defined core values helps your team be well-prepared to navigate any changes. If you can see that your staff is remaining aligned with your core values – respect, dedication, and innovation  as examples – then odds are, things are taking a turn for the better.

A key question to ask is, how is your team adapting to the change? Ensure that your team has been able to:

  • Do any training that may be required to enact the plan
  • Started to see the benefits of the change
  • Meeting set expectations 
  • Feel supported in creating change at your practice

With a new patient engagement strategy, for example, you might have been making the switch from manual to automation. Using software can help you automate tasks such as appointment reminders. It can also facilitate sending forms in advance, or reminders about appointment instructions. This would require training and support!

If your staff feels like they’re getting the hang of the new shift in patient engagement, that is a good positive sign.

Showing the Benefits of Engagement to Your Patients

Bringing patients on board with a new patient engagement strategy can be challenging. But, if your patients can see the benefits, that is a great indicator that things are going well.

Look at the list earlier in this blog. If we consider what was not going well, we can consider these indicators that your patient engagement strategy is succeeding:

  • Patients are coming prepared for appointments
  • Patients remember to come to appointments or remember to cancel
  • Patients are less frustrated with staff

Another two key elements might be:

  • Feedback from patients is consistently positive
  • Some of them may even be writing some good Google reviews!

Showing patients the benefit of a change, like new technology or communication protocols, can help you judge if your new engagement strategy is succeeding.

How Intiveo Can Help

Patient engagement software is one tool that can help make a shift in communication a reality. At Intiveo, this is something we know a bit about! Intiveo’s patient engagement solutions can help improve your practice’s change management performance with customized messaging that can be tailored to your practice’s needs.

Curious to learn more? Book a meeting!