It seems like our doctors are always extremely busy, overworked, and hard to reach. This hinders the channels for personal connection and effective communication in healthcare. Often, just to talk with our doctor for a few minutes to ask for advice can be an arduous and expensive task. This discourages the primary and preventive care interactions that have been shown to be crucial in improving health, quality of life, and maintaining affordability.
To combat this, healthcare providers such as doctors and nurses need more effective communication techniques patients can rely on and utilize. Having such techniques in place will put us on track to a healthcare system that is more holistic in its approach and personable in its mechanism. Electronic and information technology such as texting and mobile apps offer a variety of approaches to effective communication healthcare providers can implement.
Effective Communication Techniques Patients Want
Text Message Reminders for Patients
A simple and effective communication patients have been shown to enjoy is receiving text message reminders. This can help ensure patients know their upcoming appointments by automatically sending them a text at a preset time interval before their appointment. This provides great value for reducing the administrative burden of appointment planning and reduces the rate of missed appointment.
Message Your Doctor
Doctors often require you to come in for an appointment to talk to them. This is partly due to insurance often requiring a physical appointment for reimbursement, but also because it is difficult for doctors to evaluate a patient and meaningfully answer their question without directly observing them. However, if a doctor patient relationship has already been formed, it can be very beneficial to overall patient satisfaction and health to have a direct means of quick communication.
Patients though often want a way to simply communicate electronically with their doctors such as sending them atext message. To message your doctor is almost impossible as they don’t often utilize direct contact email or messaging services. This can be useful for asking simple questions, when seeking advice, or provide additional information. By having this option patients can often save on the costs of an in person visit when unnecessary, and therefore insurance companies should provide channels of reimbursing to message your doctor.
Doctor Call App
A doctor call app or web service are also examples of communication systems healthcare providers can use to improve their patient’s satisfaction. Similar to messaging your doctor, giving them a call can be a lot better in quickly exchanging and communicating information. Unlike messages, phone calls and video chats can sometimes be reimbursed and therefore it can be beneficial to run them on a designated software such as a mobile or web app which can track the calls for billing.
Doctor call apps can be a great tool for chronic and geriatric care which often require constant medical attention. Patients living under chronic or geriatric care conditions could end up spending a lot of time coming in and out of doctor’s offices and hospitals. In many cases the in-person meeting is unavoidable, but with the advent of remote monitoring using wearable health tracking sensors it is becoming more feasible to cut down on them. This is likely to improve patient living conditions and reduce the burden or healthcare services.
Effective communication between patient and doctors is an important tenant of a holistic health approach. By putting small amounts of effort such as frequent consultations and regular primary care visits, a lot more can be gained from healthcare services and faithfully executing these practices can lead to savings in the long run. Having effective communication in healthcare is an important building block of having a holistic healthcare approach be the norm of services and not the outlier. It is important for doctors and patient to actively engage and seek new means of private, secure, and meaningful communication.