Despite 70 years of availability and numerous studies that have reinforced the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, the public still has concerns regarding its safety and value. This is where a physician can step in and provide proactive education and information about the illness and vaccine. Automation can be a valuable and cost-effective tool in this outreach. Here are six ways that outreach can profit the patient and the practice:
- Education – Many patients are confused about the vaccine and continue to question its safety and effectiveness. Educational outreach about the vaccine is needed in addition to yearly reminders. Patients also need education about the flu itself and the complications that can result from declining the vaccine.
- Health – When anyone gets the flu vaccine, not only are they affecting their own health, but also the health of those they come into contact with. Many patients don’t make this connection. It helps to remind patients that when more people get the vaccine, flu is less likely to spread throughout the community.
- Responsibility – Preventive medicine is an area where all patients can practice greater responsibility and personal involvement. New reforms also put more ownership onto patients. Everyone has to participate in improving the quality of healthcare outcomes. A simple nudge is needed to drive patients to take action when it comes to their flu vaccine.
- Loyalty – Another way to build patient loyalty beyond the high quality of care you already provide is to help them manage their healthcare information via the channels they prefer. Many physicians believe that personalized care can only be delivered in person. However, a recent survey of 1,100 patients revealed that 90% would prefer to use the Internet, email and mobile devices to self-manage healthcare information and services such as the availability of the flu vaccine. Notifications can be delivered to patients via phone call, email and text, and they can point to educational resources online and/or offer opportunities for patients to immediately schedule a visit.
- Revenue – Generating even a slight increase in income requires physicians to do more with less. With flu vaccinations being one of the most cost-effective preventive services a physician can provide, it is a solid source of revenue. Take advantage of this opportunity to drive volume while improving service to patients!
- Responsibility – Patients are being encouraged to take responsibility for their own health. But they need support and collaboration from their providers to do so. This support and collaboration also brings physicians one step further down the path to ACO’s goal of maintaining healthy communities and reducing healthcare spend. Physicians that practice true health and wellness outreach will prosper under the ACO model.