How Texting Tools Save Time, Help Clinical Collaboration, and Improve Patient Communication
// By Melanie Graham //
For many of us, our cellphones have been woven into nearly every part of our daily lives. We use them to deposit money, send email, and track our daily step count. We also use them to constantly communicate, whether it’s through social media, texting, and (rarely, it seems) phone calls.
With countless apps and new technology increasing our communication channels, shouldn’t it be easier to communicate with your healthcare providers? Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
In the hectic healthcare climate, patient communication can seem disjointed and rushed. In a recent study commissioned by The Physicians Foundation, a survey of more than 1,700 people found that while most were satisfied with their provider, only 11 percent of respondents felt that they had enough time with their physicians. Thirty-one percent of respondents also felt their physicians were overwhelmed or overworked.
There are many ways technology can alleviate some of these pain points, and texting can be a key player in improving those patient-physician relationships. Solutionreach, a patient relationship management system, recently conducted a survey that showed a large correlation between communication technology and patient satisfaction.
“We saw some huge gaps in the number of patients who wanted the ability to text their provider, and the number of practices actually offering that technology,” says Lea Chatham, director of content marketing for Solutionreach. “There was also a big number of patients who left a practice because they were dissatisfied with communication, and not because of a change in insurance.”