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March 21, 2017
An essential element of patient engagement is patients and physicians talking to each other to improve overall health. Technological advances in healthcare and the cloud make it much easier to connect to patients. The days of brochures, courtesy calls and quick follow-up visits are becoming a thing of the past. Calls can now be automated, brochures can be texted or emailed, and check-ups can be done remotely via a live video feed.
According to Pew Research Center, 64% of Americans now own a smartphone. This opens several avenues of communication between the healthcare industry and their patients. Cell phone users typically carry their phones with them wherever they go. This makes it easier to establish contact with them on the first call. Americans are obsessed with their phones and are very likely to listen to messages quickly. This also applies to text messages. Depending on the app they use, or if you have your own specific app the patient can link to, scheduling of appointments, updates, cancellations, and prescription refills can all be done through patients’ cell phones.
Depending on the tools your clinic uses, patients will have the ability to schedule their own appointments. This reduces the number of calls hospital staff has to make when reaching out to the patient, and it helps to keep appointments scheduled. Patients like to have the ability to schedule their own appointments without contacting a provider
Patient portals give direct communication from the patient to the healthcare provider. A patient portal allows the patient to log in and view appointments, prescriptions, and even their health records. Portals can be accessed via mobile devices or from the patient’s home computer. An email can be sent directly to the provider, and the patient receives a message quickly. This creates a satisfaction that is unparalleled. It also allows the patient to get right to the point about their issue, and the doctor or nurse can respond in the same fashion. The communication is short, succinct, and a resolution is quickly found.
The Video Future
It may seem like it’s still a long way off, but video conferencing is popping up in small clinics and hospitals alike. Managed service providers can connect healthcare providers to the cloud and create a managed video environment. This environment allows doctors, nurses, and patients to connect via a virtual face-to-face. In some cases, doctors are holding appointments over their monitors instead of having the patient physically come into the office. Of course, this will not work in most cases for the initial visit, but follow-up visits and basic questions can be answered.
This technology also makes it easier for patients who are located far away from the office, or that have disabilities to connect with a healthcare provider without the hassles of driving to the care facility.
Mobile healthcare, patient portals and video conferencing are just some of the ways patient engagement is advancing. Wearable devices can also transmit data to the clinic or hospital, which enables real-time updates on a patient’s condition. Managed service providers have the resources and the tools to connect you and your patients together for an enriched health care experience. Get a free assessment
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