by Rick Kuwahara COO of Paubox
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Patient Engagement and HIPAA Compliance: What You Need to Know

by Rick Kuwahara COO of Paubox

iPad with calendar app open on a desk near a laptop computer

According to a recent NEJM Catalyst Insights Council Survey on Patient Engagement, 59% of patients believe that effective patient engagement strategies have a major impact on the quality of healthcare.  

Scheduling appointments, managing health updates, prescription refills and authorizations, and communicating with a provider are all great patient engagement opportunities.  

Organizations must adopt patient engagement technology and social networks to increase the efficiency of healthcare delivery and achieve the best possible health outcomes for patients.   

Why patient engagement is important

In healthcare, patient engagement is crucial to close care gaps, keep patients informed about their treatment, and foster trust between patients and caregivers. It also helps improve office productivity and patient satisfaction and loyalty, which reduces cost and improves the bottom line.

For example, appointment and medication refill reminders are conveniences that busy adults rely on to maintain their care routines. According to Medical Economics, “79% of patients are more likely to select a provider who allows them to conduct healthcare interactions online, on a mobile device, or at a self-service kiosk.”   

As more organizations leverage technology such as electronic health record (EHR) software and HIPAA compliant email, the more patient engagement will positively impact all different aspects of healthcare.

Understanding HIPAA compliance and patient engagement

Patient engagement is the practice of getting patients involved in their own healthcare to improve outcomes and lower costs.

However, healthcare organizations are required by HIPAA regulations protect patients’ privacy and security while engaging them.

Patient portals and smartphone apps are some of the ways doctors and other healthcare practitioners engage patients in their own care, but they can sometimes be cumbersome to use and inconvenient. 

Sending email newsletters and health updates are a better way to increase patient engagement. In fact, the current return on investment (ROI) for email marketing is $42 for every dollar spent.

Individualized messages perform up to three times better than generic blast emails. By tailoring your messaging to a specific patient, you can obtain 5 to 8 times more ROI for your marketing spend.

READ MORE: HIPAA and Marketing: What You Need to Know to Build a Modern Healthcare Marketing Strategy

As covered entities, healthcare providers must abide by HIPAA regulations in all their email communications, so they cannot use most out-of-the-box marketing solutions that are available to other industries.

Paubox Marketing is the only tool on the market for healthcare email marketing which will sign a business associate agreement (BAA), encrypt email both at-rest and in-transit, and allow you to send secure email which contains protected health information (PHI) directly to your recipients inboxes.

Conclusion

For patient engagement to be the most effective, patients and physicians need to be able to communicate easily and securely with one another. In the past, this was difficult to do in an automated, mass communication way.

But now hospitals, clinics, doctors, and other healthcare organizations can finally use a HIPAA compliant email marketing solution, Paubox Marketing, which allows you to segment and send secure emails using your patient data to drive more engagement and results. All while staying HIPAA compliant.


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