Communication is the most frustrating aspect of the doctor patient relationship! The majority of medical practices in the United States do not centre their services around patient satisfaction. The idea that there will always be patients, resulting in customer service being the least important item to address is now a thing of the past.
Patients Will Leave You
Patients are not as loyal today as they were in the past, and will change doctors, or practices if they are consistently frustrated with communication; whether it be over the phone, or waiting for long periods of time without any updates in a waiting room.
Patients of All Ages And Economic Levels Prefer Texting to The Phone
In fact, 100% of 18-29 year olds use text daily or more, and even 92% of those aged 50 + use text daily. This number will continue to grow for older generations in the years to come. In other surveys, it is revealed that 80% of patients prefer to text with their doctor’s office, and 63% strongly feel texts are “less disruptive than a voice call.”
Benefits of Secure Messaging in Healthcare
Using a secure HIPAA compliant communication method, will save on average 2 or more hours a day of time wasted taking phone calls and listening to voicemails from patients. Switching from a wait and see attitude, to a proactive attitude where you engage with your patients in a convenient way such as texting, will result in better customer service for your patients and increased profits and time for your practice.
For instance, if you have a busy day and patients need to schedule an appointment with your office, you want to give opportunity to patient to have an appointment on your calendar as quick and easy as possible. Unfortunately, the majority of medical practices still use rudimentary communication methods--not 21st Century communication methods. Both patients and staff feel stuck on the phone for an inconvenient amount of time for such a simple task.
For a patient, nothing is more annoying than being placed on hold, being transferred several times, and then being accidentally dropped before you even get to the person you are trying to speak with in the first place!
With only phones as an option, medical staff spend hours a day calling – and calling back. To tackle such problems, medical practices have had to increase phone-based staff. Hiring more staff is not that difficult, but it comes with the extra cost.
However, you do need to understand that time spent on phone is inefficient, not documented. Phone disrupts practice workflows. It is important to understand that Staff inefficiency is also → waste of time and money!
Therefore, medical practices have to equip staff with communication technology that can effectively offload the phone traffic. This is where messaging comes into picture. Giving patients the access to reach out to staff directly for administrative tasks via messaging can lead to lowered burden on staff and greater compliance of patients with care plans.