Healthcare professionals know that communication with their patients is essential. To provide the best possible care, they must be dedicated to connecting with patients before, during and after their appointments. Tools such as SMS text, live chat and video calls are all great resources for doing so. Read on to learn more ways to improve patient communications.
How Much Does Communication Affect Patient Experience?
Here are four statistics that illustrate why patient communication is so important:
- Using text messaging to communicate with patients can increase medication adherence by 8%.
- Ongoing communication between patients and physicians through apps and online platforms can improve patient engagement rates by 60% or higher.
- Mobile-friendly communication is crucial for patient engagement, as people use a mobile device or tablet for 57% of email opens.
- Increased online patient involvement can result in a 90% satisfaction rate for both patients and physicians.
Healthcare professionals should always be advocating for patient health and satisfaction with the care that they receive. Improved patient communications can help providers in both of these areas.
Text and email follow-ups can ensure that patients are keeping up with proper care after their appointment. This includes such things as medication reminders, prescription refill reminders or simply being available to answer questions.
The patient experience is also made smoother through these tools. If providers are available for patients through text and live chat, they can easily schedule appointments, ask questions and confirm or cancel appointments. An open line of communication improves the patient’s overall experience, reducing the chance that they will seek out a competing practice.
How Do Providers Improve Communications?
Now that we have discussed how improved communications can help grow practices and give patients a better experience, take a look at the below tips to get started.
Be Available on Multiple Platforms
In order to give the best patient experience, it’s crucial to be reachable on multiple platforms. Text, LiveChat and video calls are great resources to invest in, especially in these uncertain times.
Text messaging is an easy way to connect with patients to remind, confirm or reschedule appointments. Healthcare practices are using text messages to keep patients updated on wait times, operational changes due to COVID-19 and to answer patient FAQs.
LiveChat can turn a practice’s website visitors into new patients. When a website visitor has a question, they can type it right into the chatbox and get a response in real time. If someone is not available to answer, the website visitor can leave their phone number and a staff member can text them a response when they are available.
Utilize Telehealth When Possible
Especially in our current times, telehealth is increasing in popularity. While telehealth can never replace traditional medical care, dermatologists, psychologists, therapists and primary care doctors have used video calls for years to conduct initial consultations, mental health appointments and discussions about aftercare.
Practice Active Listening
When communicating with patients over text, chat or video call, it is essential to practice active listening. The best way to do this is to focus on one conversation at a time.
If on a call or chatting with a patient online, it is important to avoid hopping between multiple conversations at once. When switching between conversations, it is easy for information to get lost and providers risk seeming inattentive to the patient.
Practice active listening to ensure that patients are being heard and feel that they are receiving the proper care. If patients do not feel heard, chances are they will be more motivated to seek out a competing practice.
HIPAA Regulations for Patient Communications
Be sure to follow the proper HIPAA regulations when using online or virtual communication tools. Here is an article with some great guidelines to help providers stay mindful of these regulations when communicating with patients online.
Start Improving Patient Communications Today!
BirdEye, who partners with Nextech, has helped many healthcare professionals communicate with their patients. Livechat and business texting are just some of the tools available to help communicate with patients during this uncertain time. Learn more about how BirdEye can help you improve your patient communications, today!