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4 minutes read

Are You Ready to Develop Your Own Patient Engagement System?

By Mario Tatis
Image showing a scale weighing options between building and buying a patient engagement system
By Mario Tatis
4 minutes read

What is Patient Engagement?

Patient engagement is a wide-ranging term used to describe how consumers interact with the medical services and products they receive, including their care from health plans, and from doctors, nurses, staff in hospitals, physician practices, and other healthcare facilities.

Recent data tells us that patients who regularly participate in their healthcare decisions enjoy more beneficial health results and lower costs. Based on this information, both private and public healthcare organizations are increasingly using engagement strategies to involve and educate patients with their choices and conditions.

As technology improves and becomes more decentralized, users (in this case patients, healthcare providers, and medical staff) are beginning to expect patient experiences to fall in line with the way they order goods online, or hail cars from a ridesharing service.

So, What About Patient Engagement Systems?

A patient engagement system, or PES, is a patient engagement platform that enhances communication between providers and patients. In layman’s terms, PES’s are the engine for running a successful medical practice. That said, in order to truly engage a patient, you need much more than just a basic patient portal. Comprehensive PES offers multiple advantages, like customer relationship management (CRM), billing, practice management, and marketing automation.

The market for patient engagement software is growing fast. In fact, the global patient engagement software market is expected to reach $32.2 Billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 18.5% between 2017 and 2023.

Should You Build or Buy a Patient Engagement System: Making The Decision That’s Right for Your BusinessImage showing a scale weighing options between building and buying a patient engagement system


The following buyer’s guide will help you determine whether you’re ready for your own patient engagement software.

Running a build vs. buy software analysis starts by understanding what a product actually needs to do. There are many elements to consider when considering the development of a patient engagement system. It’s an enormous undertaking with multiple integrations, such as EHR systems, patient portals, and prescription software.

When we’re looking to make a buy or build software decision, we don’t rely on a complex matrix or framework. Instead, we look at two straightforward factors: Who you are, and the development costs.

Who Are You?

Companies considering patient engagement software will fall into one of the following three categories — small practices, midsize practices, or large practices. Based on your needs, you’ll have to evaluate your options for PES as it applies to the size of your business.

Small Practices

Small practices are comprised of one to five physicians. Due to the smaller size, increasing their patient base with patient engagement software is likely a priority. The best solution here is a cloud-based PES platform, mostly because a per-user subscription platform offers flexibility. This ultimately leads to cost savings for small practices with the goal of growing.

Midsize Practices

Midsize practices are comprised of six to 25 physicians. These practices are interested in increasing the value that they provide to existing patients, while at the same time adding new patients as well. Most midsize practices have fairly straightforward requirements that can be met by most cloud-based systems, but with features like online appointment scheduling, appointment reminders, and patient education, these practices are able to improve the patient experience significantly.

Large Practices

Large practices are comprised of 25 or more physicians, and are usually multi-specialty clinics or have a large number of providers. These practices should be looking exclusively at scalable, comprehensive solutions that integrate effectively with the existing technology that they use. A feature like integrated bill payment systems has huge impact in terms of making these practices’ revenue cycles more efficient.  

The Bottom Line… Literally

The main thing to consider at this point is that development is just one of the costs you need to account for. Deployment and post-launch maintenance also need to be adjusted for; don’t be shocked when these necessary steps hot your budget.

No matter the size of your medical practice, it’s imperative to account for not only the development costs prior to launching your Patient Experience Software, but the costs that will be associated with maintaining the software moving forward into the future.

Key Considerations

Before implementing patient engagement software, it’s in your best interest to consider the following important factors:

  • Basic Functionalities
  • Advance Features
  • Certifications & Compliances
  • Third-Party API Integrations
  • Size of the development team
  • Development Platforms (Android/iOS/Web)

Essentially, you should fully understand the needs that you are looking to have the patient engagement software fulfill, and all of the costs that could potentially impact the development of your solution.

Koombea has a team of developers that are deeply experienced when it comes to building and implementing MedTech solutions of all kinds.

If you’re looking to build your own patient engagement system, contact us today!

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