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Patient engagement can make or break your business. At the same time patients have become increasingly dissatisfied with healthcare, they also have increasingly more options to choose from. So it’s more important than ever to provide not only quality care, but also an end-to-end experience that keeps up with evolving expectations. Here are some patient engagement best practices to ensure you’re delivering the kind of experience patients want.


1.    Define Your Vision for Patient Engagement

Defining a vision for patient engagement is crucial because it sets a clear direction for what you want to achieve, how you’re going to achieve it, and how you’ll know if you succeeded.  Here are a few pointers on how to do this.

  • Think ahead: Consider what engaging patients means to your organization and what you want to achieve
  • Involve everyone: Talk with leaders, staff, and patients (e.g., through patient feedback) to make sure the vision fits everyone’s needs
  • Make goals: Set specific and measurable targets that show how you’ll reach your vision
  • Check and adjust: Keep an eye on how well your strategies are working and be ready to make improvements

Being clear with staff and stakeholders about your vision helps everyone understand how they and any new processes/tech contribute to your goals. Clarity is always best when you want staff buy-in.

2.    Create a Culture of Engagement

Just because staff understands your goals and their role within them does not always mean they’ll keep patient engagement top of mind. This is especially true if you’re asking them to change the tools or processes they’re used to. It’s not that they don’t care — it’s that they’re human and urgent care is a very stressful environment.

Incentivizing your teams can go a long way in building a more patient-centered culture. Rewarded efforts were effective for iCare Urgent Care Centers, as shared by COO Kami Scruggs during the Experity webinar on enhancing front desk efficiency.

Since many people look for urgent care on Google, iCare sends every patient a link to leave a Google review — which also prompts a reminder if patients neglect to leave one. To keep their online rating strong, the clinic gives staff a quarterly bonus if their Google rating is at least 4.7. The staff knows that every patient will be asked for a review, so they make sure every visit counts.


3.    Appropriately Leverage Technology

The whole point of technology is to make things better, whether that means greater efficiency, easier workflow, higher profits, etc. — of course, it often accomplishes many improvements at once.

Both your EMR/PM and your Patient Engagement solution should provide convenience and a stellar patient experience as well as optimal engagement.


When your EMR/PM has features like Real Time Eligibility, credit card on file, and text balance reminders, staff and patients alike have a much smoother time with what is often a painful part of the patient journey: billing. Technology should help you not only improve clean claims and collections, but also make paying easier for patients.

An urgent-care-specific EMR/PM will also cut out a lot of extra work compared to other EMRs. For example, providers who use Experity can chart most visits in 60 seconds or less — and be in the chart at the same time as another staff member, so there is no waiting. This translates to more time with patients, which is absolutely essential to a positive patient experience.

Patient Engagement (PE) Technology

We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of a PE solution, like reducing wait times, streamlining preregistration, collecting patient feedback, and more. But what does that mean for the patient journey? Here’s a walkthrough using Experity’s PE solution:

  1. Patient makes online reservation for the time they want to be seen through the urgent care’s website. Preregistration captures time-saving information, reducing steps once patients arrive at the clinic. The reservation shifts patients away from a “wait time” mentality, letting them wait comfortably at home instead of the parking lot or waiting room.
  2. Patient will receive a text confirmation of their reservation time. They will also receive a text if the clinic is running behind/delayed, and a reminder text when it’s time to come in.
  3. Once in clinic, the patient can check in with the front desk or from a check-in kiosk and wait to be seen. A wait room monitor in the lobby displays the patients’ first names in the queue, and time to be called back.
  4. Staff calls back patient, completes normal visit process, and discharges patient. If the survey product is enabled, the patient will receive a survey text after discharge.
  5. Clinic can track survey results and respond to online reviews through the reputation management system.

This process sets up patients and staff for a smoother, more positive experience. Learn more about patient engagement features and strategies in What is Patient Engagement? Benefits, Strategies, and Solutions >>

4.    Prioritize Patient-Centered Care

We know that you are either already doing this, or already trying to do this. However, that can be said of providers and health institutions everywhere, yet 76 percent of Americans report they do not leave their doctor’s office on a positive note.

Patient-centered care means actively involving patients in their care and decision-making, and providing care that is respectful, compassionate, and responsive to their needs. But not all of this is on the providers and other staff who interact with patients. It’s also on the managers and owners to set their staff up for success. This ties back to some of the other practices mentioned here, like using an EMR that supports better care and a PE tool that provides a better experience before patients even set foot in the door.

Follow-up care is very patient-centric, too. Clear instructions for follow-up care, including any necessary medications, lifestyle changes, or follow-up appointments can help to ensure that patients receive the appropriate care and support to manage their condition and prevent complications.


5.    Consistently ask for Patient Feedback:

Patient feedback is essential for improving patient engagement and the overall quality of care. Urgent care centers should actively seek feedback from patients through surveys and by monitoring/responding to online reviews. A PE tool like Experity’s will give you reputation management capabilities like automating surveys, tracking responses, alerting staff to new online reviews, responding to reviews from the platform, and comparing your rating to competitor ratings to name a few.

Giving staff more visibility into how patients perceive them, and making it easy for them to monitor their performance can also help you foster a culture of patient engagement. But ultimately, this feedback is critical to identify areas for improvement and implement changes to enhance the patient experience.


Time for New Tech?

If you don’t have a PE solution, you may be losing patients. People’s expectations for an urgent care experience is similar to that of other on-demand services — which means they expect technology to make everything easier. The ability to see wait times across clinics, select a time and location, submit pre-registration details, and use chat to answer questions are just basic features that patients expect. Without them, you’re only making it harder to choose your clinic.

Experity is the only company with an entire suite built specifically for urgent care. That includes our Patient Engagement software. If it’s time to invest in a new tool, check us out.

Learn More About PE Software

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