In the News: HealthIT Answers

To improve the patient experience and increase staff efficiency, hospitals and health systems must move on from outdated engagement methods like manual phone calls and voicemails and leverage automated technologies that support preferred patient communication.

July 29, 2022

The answer to why patients continue to feel dissatisfied with their healthcare experience lies in leveraging preferred patient communication channels. Unfortunately, many hospitals and health systems haven’t prioritized new technologies that automate these favored channels efficiently, and instead are stuck using outdated and burdensome communication methods. Patients are frustrated with these interactions and desire to connect with the health system as similarly and conveniently as they do with other everyday transactions—through text or SMS-based messaging.

The use of text or SMS-based messaging as the preferred patient communication channel ensures timely outreach in a way that’s more accessible, customized, and provides on-demand insight via the devices these individuals already use every day. By removing the headache of manual phone calls, downloading an app, or logging in to a patient portal, the patient experience improves.

And while portals are still important for patient communication, a recent KLAS survey noted that 26% of respondents never access their portal or don’t think a portal is offered by their provider. This data confirms that individuals are seeking more convenient alternatives to access information and communicate with their healthcare teams. 

Hospital staff also benefit from leveraging preferred patient communication strategies. Traditional engagement approaches force healthcare teams to focus their time and energy on administrative tasks such as scheduling via inbound phone calls, returning messages, leaving voicemails, or manually rescheduling canceled appointments. By implementing text-based channels and automated technologies, staff no longer have to worry about repetitive, hands-on engagement and can instead focus on what really matters most: caring for the patient.

Hospitals and health systems must continue to leverage automated technologies that support preferred patient communication. Giving more control and convenience to patients will increase their overall healthcare experience, as well as create more efficiency and empowerment for health system staff. 

In his latest article, Kamal Anand shares more on how healthcare organizations can better meet patient experience expectations. Read the full HealthIT Answers article here
 

Explore Healthcare