The devices Americans use to communicate, as well as their communication preferences, have changed dramatically. Payphones and landlines are vanishing, while ownership of smartphones has exploded. Not only have the devices changed, but how we use them to communicate has also evolved. Digital communications continue to gain in popularity, and because of this, many healthcare organizations need to modernize their patient communication strategies. By utilizing text messages, emails and automated surveys, healthcare teams can implement triple-threat digital communication strategies to meet patients’ preferences.
More patients want to use digital communication channels than in the past. A West survey found that patients are now 21 percent less likely to pick up the phone and call their healthcare provider than in 2011. However, texting between patients and providers has more than tripled during the past seven years. West’s survey also revealed that nearly three-quarters (74%) of Americans feel their healthcare providers do not communicate with them enough between appointments. Text messages, emails and health monitoring surveys are useful for maintaining contact with patients between appointments. These communications are generally well-received by patients, and because they can be automated, they save staff time while being cost-effective.
Here’s a look at some benefits and examples of these modern healthcare communications:
Text Messages – While texting can be used in many situations, it is particularly useful for communicating brief messages and reminders. For example, providers can send text messages to remind patients to take medications, schedule preventive exams or pay bills.
Emails – Emails make it easy for providers to send patients in-depth information. Sending emails can be a great way to provide detailed information about a chronic disease and how to manage it. Or, email can be used to share wellness information and tips for living a healthy lifestyle.
Surveys – Health monitoring surveys can be used to capture health data and monitor patients between visits. As patients complete surveys, key health data gets passed along to providers. The shared data can then be used to track changes and respond to issues proactively.
Communication trends have changed; thus, healthcare providers need to make adjustments so they can provide the best service to patients. Healthcare teams can do more for patients if they utilize multiple types of communication. To learn more about incorporating texting, email and surveys into your patient communication strategy, download Moving Healthcare Communications into the Future.