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Posted on December 12, 2012 by West Corporation 


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TeleVox™ Study Reveals Personalized, Virtual Messages Are Key To Patient Engagement

TeleVox technology makes it easier for healthcare providers to engage, educate and activate patients to promote consistency and involvement in their treatment plans.

  • Tech vs. Talk: 85 percent of United States healthcare consumers feel that high-tech communication channels such as email, text messages and voicemails are as helpful, if not even more helpful, than in-person or phone conversations with their healthcare provider.
  • Patient Preference: Topics most requested are educational tips or information to help live a healthy life (68 percent), feedback from initial face-to-face visit (59 percent), and payment reminders (56 percent).
  • Trust Factor: One in three U.S. consumers assert that receiving text messages, voicemails or emails that provide patient care between visits would increase feelings of trust in their provider.
  • Patient Loyalty: Of the 66 percent of patients who have received a voicemail, text or email from a healthcare provider, many report a variety of positive outcomes:
    • 51 percent reported feeling more valued as a patient.
    • 35 percent said digital communication improved their opinion of their provider.
    • 34 percent reported feeling more certain about visiting that healthcare provider again.

MOBILE, Ala., December 12, 2012 — An increasing number of doctors are now using computers and mobile devices to provide personalized care for patients between visits. As more and more U.S. healthcare consumers fail to follow treatment plans prescribed by their doctors, Televox Software, a leading provider of patient engagement communications (EC) services, today released a Healthy World Report titled Technology Beyond the Exam Room: How Digital Media is Helping Doctors Deliver the Highest Level of Care. The report addresses doctor-patient trust, confidentiality concerns, topic preferences, digital communication per patient’s gender and age, and what incorporating high-tech engagement into treatment plans means for U.S. healthcare providers.

Recent studies show that eating a cup of blueberries each day can reduce your risk of certain types of cancer, and increasing your intake of vitamin D can lower your risk of diabetes. New treatments or ways of preventing an illness are released to the public on a regular basis, yet 115 million Americans still don’t feel healthy. Perhaps because healthcare consumers aren’t fully taking advantage of what’s available to help them achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Improving the collective health of Americans will be difficult and will be driven by forward-thinking healthcare providers who understand that doctor-patient engagement is key to ensuring a healthier future for our world,” said Scott Zimmerman, President of Televox Software “For example, let’s say a patient is interested in receiving education and updates about cancer findings, but isn’t sure where to find trustworthy, credible information. With technology, it’s as simple as having their doctor add them to a list of patients who will receive a text or email alerting them of the newest findings and updates about their specific condition(s). By keeping that high level of engagement throughout the treatment process, it encourages patients to stay informed as well as to own their personal care.”


Tech vs. Talk


Technology Beyond the Exam Room: How Digital Media is Helping Doctors Deliver the Highest Level of Care found that 85 percent of United States healthcare consumers feel that high-tech engagement, such as email, text messages and voicemails, is as helpful, if not even more helpful, than in-person or phone conversations with their healthcare provider.

Technology Beyond the Exam Room: How Digital Media is Helping Doctors Deliver the Highest Level of Care also found that more than 35 percent of those who don’t follow exact treatment plans say that they would be more likely to follow directions if they received reminders from their doctors via email, voicemail or text. They welcome their provider telling them to do something specific, such as take medication, schedule a routine medical screening, or get a flu shot.

“Follow-up care and reminders aren’t the only benefits a patient will experience with digital communication,” said Zimmerman. “Doctors are now able connect with patients they may otherwise not have seen due to location, weather, or any number of inconvenient circumstances.”


Patient Preference


It’s important for patients to arrive at their appointments knowing how they would like to receive communication (text, email or phone) and which topics they are most interested (updates, education or alerts). Before patients talk with their doctors about participating in between-visit care, patients should ask themselves the following questions:

  • Do I want to receive information via phone call, text, email, or snail mail?
  • How often would I like to receive information?
  • What time of day works best?
  • What kind of information would I like to receive? Appointment reminders? Medication reminders? Disease education? Feedback? Payment reminders?

Once a doctor collects answers to these questions, he or she can make better choices about how to engage and treat their patients.

The TeleVox Healthy World study, Technology Beyond the Exam Room: How Digital Media is Helping Doctors Deliver the Highest Level of Care, shows that given the choice between a phone call, voicemail, email and text message, patients would most like to be contacted via email. Email is the favored method of communication when receiving feedback following initial face-to-face visits with their doctors (59 percent), notices for seasonal health offers, such as scheduling flu shots (55 percent), and payment reminders (56 percent).

However, the way patients prefer to receive communications from their healthcare provider changes based on the information being delivered. For example, although patients want their doctors to email them educational tips or information which will help them live a better life (68 percent), they prefer to receive a phone call to remind them about an upcoming appointment. When it comes to patient care between visits, it’s a toss-up – 45 percent of patients prefer phone communication while 49 percent prefer email communications. Likewise, when being notified of medical or health product recalls, 45 percent of patients prefer phone communication, and 50 percent prefer to be alerted by email.


Trust Factor


During clinical or hospital visits, some patients experience social anxiety when discussing their lifestyle choices. A patient may be hesitant to reveal private information out of fear of what their physician may think. Unfortunately, this lack of disclosure can lead to incorrect diagnoses and prescriptions, making the patient’s initial face-to-face visit dangerously counterproductive. Technology Beyond the Exam Room: How Digital Media is Helping Doctors Deliver the Highest Level of Care found that 34 percent of U.S. consumers said they would be more honest when talking about their medical needs through an automated call, email or text message than in person with a healthcare provider. A hefty 73 percent said they would talk more frankly about nutritional habits, their fitness regimen and personal vices through digital communication rather than in-person visits.

“Most patients, at some point, have met with a doctor who took that extra five minutes to ask about their job or discuss their child’s recent school play. It’s in these moments that a patient begins to build trust and a sense that their physician cares about them as an individual,” said Zimmerman. “Though patient engagement throughout treatment is vital, it is difficult given physician-demanding responsibilities to find time to take these extra steps. TeleVox technology can help bridge the gap in engagement and communication that exists beyond a patient’s face-to-face doctor visit.” The TeleVox Healthy World study, Technology Beyond the Exam Room: How Digital Media is Helping Doctors Deliver the Highest Level of Care, found that one in three U.S. consumers assert that receiving text messages, voicemails or emails that provide patient care between visits would increase feelings of trust in their provider.


Patient Loyalty


Of the 66 percent of patients who have received a voicemail, text or email from a healthcare provider, many report a variety of positive outcomes. Fifty-one percent reported feeling more valued as a patient. Thirty-five percent said digital communication improved their opinion of their provider. Thirty-four percent reported feeling more certain about visiting that healthcare provider again.

“It can be tricky for physicians to find time to take the extra steps to engage every patient,” said Zimmerman. “By transcending the in-office visit with digital technology, healthcare providers can finally begin to achieve the quantity of communication their patients desire.”

The right mix of technology and human touch opens a new door for healthcare providers, enabling them to more easily follow through on their treatment plans. By providing tools that address continuity of care, encourage the right behaviors, solicit questions, and even remind patients to take medication between appointments, TeleVox is helping healthcare providers meet the demand of the millions of U.S. healthcare consumers.

Media Resources


  • Download the full report here for a deeper look at the findings.
  • Download info graphics here

To arrange an interview with Scott Zimmerman, President of TeleVox, to discuss these study findings in more detail, please contact Chris Jones from Jones PR at chris@jonespr.net, or by calling 402-507-5089.

About The TeleVox Study — Technology Beyond the Exam Room: How Digital Media is Helping Doctors Deliver the Highest Level of Care


Technology Beyond the Exam Room: How Digital Media is Helping Doctors Deliver the Highest Level of Care is based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of more than 2,200 healthcare providers representing a variety of specialties and disciplines. The research was conducted using an email invitation and an online survey format.

In addition to surveying healthcare providers, TeleVox also worked with Kelton Research to survey a nationally representative sample of 1,015 Americans ages 18 and older. The survey was conducted using an email invitation and an online survey format. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About TeleVox


Televox Software, a subsidiary of West Corporation, is a high tech Engagement Communications company, providing automated voice, email, text and web solutions that activate positive patient behaviors through the delivery of a human touch. TeleVox has almost 20 years of experience in creating a comprehensive approach that breaks through and activates people to live healthy lives. TeleVox understands that touching the hearts and minds of patients by engaging with them between healthcare appointments will encourage and inspire them to follow and embrace treatment plans. TeleVox knows personalized, ongoing patient engagement will activate positive lifestyle changes that will help people of all ages lead healthy lives. TeleVox helps healthcare professionals touch, engage and activate every single patient to live a healthy life. Supported by 24×7 customer care, TeleVox products and services are used by nearly 17,000 healthcare and commercial enterprises throughout North America. The company is headquartered in Mobile, Alabama.


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