patient engagement KPIs

10 KPIs to Track Patient Engagement in Virtual Health Services

The perfect storm of technological advancements and a global pandemic has led to a spike in virtual healthcare. It seems these remote services are here to stay, which leads to an important question: How do they affect patient engagement?

If you’re wondering what patient engagement is, it’s the active involvement of patients in their own care and how they can work closely with healthcare providers to make better decisions regarding their health.

Tracking certain key performance indicators (KPIs) allows you to better understand patient engagement. This can improve patient care, resource utilization, staff well-being, and operational success.

This article will explore the most useful KPIs to monitor and how they can improve the patient experience. 

What are virtual health services?

Virtual healthcare services offer healthcare remotely and digitally. This includes:

  • Telemedicine services such as virtual appointments
  • Telehealth services, including apps and remote monitoring devices 
  • Digital prescriptions 
  • Online patient portals for appointment booking
  • Electronic health records
  • Advanced technology like machine learning, rule-based AI systems, and virtual assistance
Telehealth services
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The importance of engaged patients

Patients are the most critical aspect of healthcare. So ensuring they receive a positive care experience is vital to creating the best health outcomes. 

Unengaged patients:

  • Miss appointments
  • Don’t follow up on their care
  • Misuse or abuse medication
  • Don’t engage in preventive care
  • Risk turning to dubious medical claims
  • Ignore serious symptoms

Improving patient engagement not only ensures better health outcomes but also plays a crucial role in effective healthcare management. Healthcare management encompasses various strategies and practices aimed at optimizing patient care delivery, resource allocation, and organizational efficiency.

When individuals have a positive experience from the time they make a booking to post-appointment care, it can significantly improve patient loyalty. But, more importantly, it can improve their quality of life.

There are numerous advances in data collection, analytics, and streaming that can help you gain insight into patient engagement. What is data streaming? These intelligence platforms use automation and real-time analytics to give you a goldmine of insights.

KPIs help you put all of this data to good use. You can see what you’re doing right, where you’re failing, and the steps you can take to improve.

10 KPIs to track virtual engagement

Engagement KPIs give healthcare professionals an in-depth look at how patients interact with virtual healthcare. 

Let’s look at the KPIs you should be tracking.

1. Industry benchmarks

Before tracking your own KPIs, it’s important to understand what you’re aiming for. Understanding industry benchmarks and tracking your KPIs against these can help you set positive and realistic expectations.

For example, Epic Research’s 2023 study on telehealth shows that the proportion of telehealth visits for mental health is highest at 37%, followed by infectious diseases at 10%.

Percentage of encounters conducted using telehealth
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Identifying your industry benchmark can help you compare your own patient engagement metrics and find areas for improvement. 

2. Adoption of services

What percentage of existing patients use your digital solutions? Tracking the number of people who have enrolled in your virtual services is a direct indicator of engagement.

Low adoption can mean your services are difficult to use or unreliable. It might also mean you’re not advertising them enough so patients aren’t aware of the benefits.

As you track this KPI and consider ways to improve usage, remember that virtual healthcare works better for some services than others. For example, Statista found that 94% of all prescriptions filled in the US in 2021 were digital.

Growth of digital prescriptions
Image Sourced from Statista

On the other hand, some studies show that patients still prefer in-person appointments to virtual ones.

Keep in mind that adoption rates for certain virtual services will differ. Again, cross-reference industry benchmarks to see how your metrics compare.

3. Patient experience

It’s important to understand how patients feel about the virtual services you offer so you can improve their engagement with those services.

Analyzing patient sentiment can help you pinpoint which services work well and identify gaps in your virtual care strategy. Additionally, creating content that drives traffic to your virtual platforms can enhance patient engagement and accessibility.

To collect this data, offer patients different ways of leaving feedback, including:

  • Patient surveys
  • Feedback forms on apps and websites
  • Prompts for feedback after consultations, such as asking patients how satisfied they were with waiting times or their practitioner
  • Reviews on trusted healthcare review sites

Additionally, consider creating informative content about your virtual services and health-related topics and distributing them through various channels such as patient newsletters, social media, and healthcare websites, using newsletter software.

Understanding the patient experience can help you make improvements. For example, if you notice a pattern in patients requesting online booking, look at the best appointment scheduling tools to integrate into your virtual services.

4. Employee experience

You can’t have effective healthcare without qualified and empathetic staff. But unfortunately, burnout among healthcare workers is high, and this can have a negative impact on patients.

Reasons clinicians consider changing careers
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When a medical team is understaffed or healthcare and support workers are stressed, it can lead to unhappy and unengaged patients. 

Tracking employee retention and satisfaction can identify areas for improvement. For example, perhaps staff need more support for conducting virtual appointments or managing online booking systems. Improving their experience means they can deliver a better patient experience, too.

5. Availability

It goes without saying that patients who cannot or struggle to access services will not engage with them. Availability can affect patients in a few ways.


Gathering accessibility data on patients such as mobility issues or neurodivergence means you can monitor the number of patients with these concerns who use your virtual health services. If the usage rate is low, it could be that there’s a fundamental barrier preventing them from using your virtual health services. 

Social Determinants of Health

Tracking engagement KPIs in underserved communities can help you use technology to address healthcare inequality.

Break down patients into socioeconomic demographics and assess which demographics present lower patient engagement with your virtual health services.

If patients in rural or low socioeconomic areas aren’t attending appointments or following up with their care, there might be some social or financial barriers to your tools. 

Number of available clinicians

Availability also accounts for the number of patients seeking telemedicine services compared to the number of clinicians available. 

Tack this by looking at how many clinicians you have, how many patients need general services, how many patients need specialist services, and how long patients have to wait to get an appointment.

Tracking this KPI will tell you if you have enough clinicians to satisfy patient demand for both in-person and virtual appointments or if your clinicians need extra training in telehealth. This might mean learning how to start a virtual call center staffed by healthcare professionals that can offer quick advice. 

Moreover, considering the importance of accessibility, incorporating free webinar tools can also aid in extending healthcare services to remote or underserved populations, enhancing overall engagement and inclusivity.

6. Waiting times

A major goal of virtual health services is to cut patient waiting times. To assess the impact of virtual health services on your waiting times, you can track:

  • How long patients have to wait to get an appointment
  • Virtual waiting room queues
  • Clinician response times

You can also track waiting times in comparison to before virtual appointments were an option. This can improve the value of virtual health services to your patients.

Waiting patient
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7. Follow-ups

If patients aren’t following up on their care, it might indicate a negative experience in some area of your virtual service.

Follow-up metrics to track include:

  • The number of follow-up appointments virtual patients schedule and attend
  • The number of patients who repeatedly engage with e-services
  • Patient experience scores

Any decline in these metrics can indicate a problem, such as:

  • Trouble navigating web pages or apps
  • Service outages and delays
  • An issue with a clinician

8. New patients

Organizations that offer virtual health services are a big draw for some patients. 

Tracking the number of new patients you receive in a given timeframe and identifying what brought them to your organization can indicate engagement levels from both existing and new patients. 

Consider implementing marketing strategies such as social media promotions, targeted email campaigns, and referral programs to attract new patients to your virtual health services.

9. Churn rate

If you’re losing patients to other organizations, something’s wrong. Of course, this could be down to the level of patient care you provide. But it could also be due to the virtual services you offer – or don’t.

Make the most of cloud data management to track patients who have left your clinic or who once appeared highly engaged but have recently drifted away. 

Reaching out to unengaged patients to ask for feedback can help you assess why you’re losing patients and make improvements.

10. Finances

Patients are the most important aspect of healthcare. But healthcare is an industry like any other, which means there are financial factors to consider.

Virtual health services can cut healthcare costs for patients and providers. They don’t require travel expenses or physical space in a practice. Studies also show that virtual healthcare reduces emergency room overcrowding, repeated practice visits, and missed appointments.

Tracking how virtual appointments impact your organization’s finances means assessing spending before and after implementing those tools. Patient outcomes such as repeated visits and missed appointments cost practices money, and if your virtual services have made reductions, you’re on the right track.  

Another example is digitizing healthcare processes to solve time management issues, resource allocation, and understaffing. This can help organizations cut costs and allow employees to focus on higher-value tasks.

Project management software can streamline workflows and ensure efficient allocation of resources, ultimately contributing to cost savings and improved operational efficiency.

Tracking metrics like overall productivity, employee satisfaction, admin costs, and the time it takes support staff like receptionists to service patients can help you determine the financial benefits of digitizing healthcare processes.

Create Meaningful Patient Engagement Today

Doctor at a computer
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Virtual health services aren’t just a trend; they’re here to stay—and for good reason. Remote services offer numerous benefits to both patients and healthcare providers. 

But to ensure you make the most of their benefits, you have to make sure patients are engaging with your service.

Tracking KPIs is a brilliant way of gauging how convenient, accessible, and helpful your services are. By collecting and analyzing the data and taking steps to improve, you can significantly boost patient engagement and their daily lives.