Healthcare providers and organizations work hard to design positive healthcare experiences for patients. Every part of an office visit—from scheduling the appointment, to the waiting room experience, to face-to-face time with patients—is carefully planned with patients in mind. But what happens between appointments? Healthcare teams put so much effort into optimizing healthcare experiences and making patients feel valued, but often the positive experiences end abruptly for patients following appointments when they are left to manage their health on their own.
Rather than delivering support in waves during face-to-face interactions, healthcare teams can create more continuity for patients with calculated communications between appointments. Providers who make it a priority to communicate with patients and engage them between visits have opportunities to positively impact health outcomes, while also making patients feel more valued.
Patients, particularly those with chronic conditions, say that maintaining ongoing communication with their healthcare providers is important. According to an Intrado survey, 94 percent of Americans with a chronic condition want providers to communicate with them between visits to help them effectively manage their health and keep them on track with treatment plans. The survey, which drew responses from 1,036 adults and 317 healthcare providers in the U.S., revealed that nearly one-third of chronic patients (32%) say their healthcare providers do not sufficiently support them between visits.
Every healthcare team has opportunities to communicate with patients between appointments. Most healthcare providers have technology in place for sending appointment reminders. This same technology can be leveraged to send automated messages to patients between visits. Messages might include:
- Chronic disease management tips and information
- Invitations to complete online remote health monitoring surveys
- Reminders that prompt patients to refill, pick up or take their medications
- Personalized recommendations for preventive health screenings with invitations to schedule appointments
- Information about health metrics with guidelines and tips for reaching health metric goals
- Health maintenance reminders that urge patients to exercise for 30 minutes or perform other actions to maintain their health
- Information about wellness events and resources
These are just a few examples of the types of communications that might be appropriate between visits. The point is, healthcare teams can use engagement communications to deliver ongoing support. For more ideas on how to use engagement communications to make patients feel valued, download: Help Patients See the CARE in Healthcare: 5 Simple Communication Improvements That Make Patients Feel More Valued.