4 Ways to Improve Digital Patient Experience
In a world where technology is constantly evolving, it’s no surprise that the way we communicate with our patients is changing too. Gone are the days of handwritten notes and phone calls. In this digital age, more and more healthcare professionals are turning to digital patient communication tools to keep in touch with their patients.
Even so, every progressive healthcare practice can still find ways to improve its digital communication methods. Here are five tips for doing just that:
Understand the gaps in your patient communication process
One of the best ways to improve digital patient communication is to understand where there are gaps in your process. Maybe you’re not providing patients with enough information or perhaps you’re not answering their questions in a timely manner.
By identifying these areas, you can work on finding solutions that will help improve communication with your patients.
The first step is to find out what type of information your patients need most from you and then provide it through a communication method that works for them. You can use surveys and questionnaires to collect feedback about their experience, so you know where improvements are needed.
For example, if many people say they don’t understand how your care management program works, you could find effective ways to make them understand it.
The next step is to figure out how often patients are being contacted and if this meets their needs. If you notice that there’s a disconnect because some clients don’t feel like they’re getting enough communication from you or others feel like it’s too much, you can adjust accordingly so everyone feels satisfied.
Educate your patients on your digital tools
Take the time to educate your patients on the digital patient communication tools that you use and how to use them. Empower your patients with knowledge of services, such as telehealth or online appointment scheduling so they can take advantage of them the next time they need medical attention.
If you use a patient portal, make sure to show patients how to log in and access their information. You can also send them helpful links or videos on how to use the portal.
If you use text messaging for appointment reminders or medication alerts, be sure to include instructions on how to reply. The more knowledgeable your patients are about your tools, the more they’ll use them.
Take advantage of technology that’s easy to use
Not all digital patient communication tools are created equal. Some are more user-friendly than others. When selecting tools for your practice, make sure to choose ones that are easy to use and navigate. This will save you and your patients time and frustration.
Keep in mind the age of your patients when choosing tools. Some software and apps may be too complicated for older patients, whereas some technology is more intuitive to use than others.
If you’re unsure how easy a tool will be to use, ask your colleagues or other healthcare professionals in the area their opinion on it before purchasing anything. If they have experience with the tool, they can tell you if it’s a good fit for your practice.
Consider your patients’ preferences
When it comes to digital patient communication, not every tool will be a good fit for all of your practice’s patients. Some may prefer one form of communication over another—for example, text messaging versus email.
Before choosing what digital tools you want to use in your practice, consider the preferences of your patients. For instance, if you have a lot of elderly patients in your practice, it may not be wise to use text messaging because many of them don’t own smartphones or haven’t been trained on how to use one.
On the other hand, if you have a lot of younger patients in your practice, it may be better to use text messaging because they’re more likely to own smartphones and know how to navigate them. You can also ask your patients their preferences when creating surveys or questionnaires so there’s no guesswork involved with choosing which tools will work best for everyone.
Having effective digital patient communication is important for your practice. It can make it easier to provide care and improve the overall experience of patients. These four steps will help you get on track with improving digital patient communication in your healthcare facility.
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