Phone tag is the worst, especially when getting vital information from or to your patients. Keeping your patients informed on appointment dates, therapy, or other recurrent interactions is made a lot easier with the introduction of virtual and digital communication. From push notifications sent via text to full-scale apps, there has never been a better time for clear, consistent communication between doctors and patients.
Particularly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, communicating on office visit protocols, virtual visits, and so forth were made significantly easier with telehealth options from virtual medical platforms. This trend has only increased, and telehealth services are at their highest level of implementation and acceptance from the public than they have ever been.
The ways telehealth communication improves contact with your patients are profound, and if you've not considered it as an option, it's time you do.
The most critical aspects of patient communication
Communicating with your patients only via phone calls is a thing of the past — the overwhelming majority of people have some manner of cell phone with texting capabilities. Just the concept of texting to remind patients of upcoming appointments is revolutionary. This move to digital communication makes keeping in touch with patients much easier and more reliable.
The problem with moving to a digital method of communication with patients is consent, access, security, and consistency. These pain points are where telehealth communication improvements from a dedicated telehealth platform come into play.
You can incorporate consent for digital communications when patients register for appointments or during intakes. Registration and intake are good times to get cell phone numbers and email addresses and obtain permission for digital communications. It's also essential to ensure you get explicit consent for all types of communication, from appointment reminders to marketing.
A telehealth communication platform can help you ensure that your transmissions are HIPAA-compliant and don't risk third-party interception. Security is vital more than ever, and a telehealth platform can give you and your patients peace of mind.
Reliability and functionality
Your patients should be able to communicate within your messaging system — canceling and rescheduling appointments or verifying their attendance should be capabilities. Your patients should be able to expect to get a reminder text a week and a few days before all appointments, every single time.
How telehealth can improve communication
A dedicated telehealth platform can improve notifications for your patients and give them more access to communicate with you when they need it most. Telehealth gives you and your patients control over how you communicate, allowing even distant patients to get in touch with you.
The rise of virtual visits coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, but now they're a highly utilized type of medical consultation. Especially for patients who live rurally or who have mobility/pain problems, virtual visits can save time, frustration, and pain. Physical therapy and medication check-ins can be managed virtually through a telehealth platform, making them much faster than in-office visits.
Many health offices offer entirely digital scheduling, allowing patients to see open spots on a doctor's calendar and plug themselves in accordingly. Likewise, they can cancel digitally and reschedule as well. This approach offers so much freedom and requires less direct oversight from office administrators.
Prescriptions, referrals, and testing
Digital interfaces with specialists, pharmacies, and labs through a robust telehealth platform can streamline the experience for you and your patients. Imagine going from an office visit to a lab, and your patient only needs to click a single button on an app or web page to check in. No more duplicate files or waiting around endlessly! This saves time, paper, and effort for everyone involved.
Digital communication is the future
There's no reason to maintain an office full of paper on an analog system that requires constant touching and monitoring by humans. At ViTel, our platform does the tedious work for you, ensuring that your patients can communicate securely and reliably for all their needs. You can engage in virtual visits, send patients for referrals, monitor their medications and pain levels, and get real-time updates on their medical tests. This communication level is better than ever, thanks to the constantly improving and evolving telehealth space.
Sign up for the ViTel Health platform and see the difference telehealth communication can make in your office.