With everything going pink this month, providers have an excellent opportunity to help women become more proactive in the fight against breast cancer. The CDC reports that it’s the most common cancer in women, regardless of race or ethnicity, so there is plenty cause for concern. And according to West’s 5 Reasons Patients Skip Preventive Care, nearly 1 in 4 patients don’t know when they are due for a screening. However, technology-enabled communications make it easier than ever to engage with patients to promote preventive care. So how can you make sure regular breast cancer screenings are top-of-mind for your female patients? Here are four questions to ask yourself:
- Are You Educating Patients Online? According to Pew Research, about a quarter of Americans are online constantly. The Pew Internet & American Life project reports that roughly three-quarters of Americans go online at least daily. So if current and potential patients are searching for healthcare services and health-related topics using computers, smartphones and tablets, can they find your practice online? Your website serves as an excellent educational tool for patients. Here you can cover breast cancer facts, the importance of yearly mammograms, infographics on how to perform self-breast examinations and a detailed list of risk factors. Plus, creating an engaging and easy-to-find website can not only attract new business but can also build patient loyalty in an extremely competitive healthcare marketplace.
- Are You Making It Easy for Women to Determine Their Breast Cancer Risk? Women who are at higher risk (greater than 20% lifetime risk) should get an MRI or mammogram every year. But how do you help them determine their risk if they don’t know? Care coordinators are often overloaded with high volumes of patients and may not have the ability to conduct time-intensive surveys. Here’s where your practice can offer online health risk assessment surveys to help women gain valuable insights into their health. It’s simple. Text messages or email invites are sent to patients to complete an online health risk assessment at their convenience. They will have a better understanding of their breast cancer risk factors and providers can then create individual care plans for better health outcomes.
- Are You Promoting Prevention While Patients Are on Hold? There’s no better way to get someone’s attention than while they are waiting on hold. Replace silence or boring music with important information about early breast cancer detection, symptoms and treatment options. On-hold messaging not only serves as an excellent educational tool but can also be used to market your services, improve practice operations and enhance the patient experience.
- Are You Reminding Patients About Scheduling a Mammogram? With today’s hectic schedules and constant distractions, patients often need a little nudge when it comes to wellness and prevention. Sending patients wellness reminders helps them keep preventive care on their radar. Practices can use a combination of automated phone calls, text messages and emails to remind patients to schedule screenings, preventive exams, and annual medical check-ups and to take a more active role in their overall well-being.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation offers a multitude of breast cancer resources including statistics, steps to early detection, personal risk guides, Mammogram 101 and more. And to learn more about how to increase routine care appointments, download our free white paper, The Power of Routine – How Routine Care Outreach Improves Outcomes and Grows Revenue.