How To Provide A Great Patient Communication Experience, Within A Secure And Compliant Framework
There isn’t a single industry that escaped the impact of the pandemic, but it can be said that the healthcare sector was forced to make more sweeping changes than most. The sudden shutdown of in-person doctor-patient consultations led to the rise of telehealth services and a rush to digitalize other services to continue providing much-needed healthcare.
In line with the digitalization of services, patient communication in healthcare also evolved much faster than it would have if there was no pandemic. Some of these changes are unlikely to shift back to pre-pandemic status.
Here are 3 changes to patient communication in healthcare that are here to stay:
Much has been said about the acceleration of digital adoption as patients were forced to switch to communicating with their healthcare provider via digital channels such as video, email, SMS/text, mobile app, and online portal. Driven by the need for virtual and contactless engagement, digital adoption was pushed forward approximately 5-6 years in just a couple of months.
What’s also interesting, however, is the improvement in digital literacy that has occurred across the board. Not only were patients forced onto digital channels, but they were also highly motivated to improve their understanding of these channels, and how best to use them.
While some patients may revert to physical communication channels, thereby reversing digital adoption rates, digital literacy can only improve going forward. Patients will retain their newfound knowledge of how to engage digitally and healthcare providers should enhance this through education programs.
2. Security and data privacy
The healthcare sector is highly regulated with regards to patient privacy and protecting personal and medical information. This requirement has not been diluted with the shift to digital channels, in fact, patients expect healthcare providers to protect their personal information even more stringently when it is available online.
As more services and interactions move onto digital channels, so the risk of experiencing a data breach increases for healthcare institutions, who must then work harder to maintain the privacy of their patient data. Investment in communication technologies that have data protection and security as a core capability becomes of utmost importance.
In fact, according to the HIPAA Journal, May 2021 was the worst month so far this year for breaches of healthcare data, with 63 reported incidents that exposed over 6.5 million records. Almost 18 million healthcare records have been exposed in 2021 so far.
3. Patient expectations
Patients are also customers, who are constantly exposed to great digital communication experiences from other industries and now expect the same from their healthcare providers. Patients want clear, easy-to-understand communication that provides relevant and useful information. And they want to decide for themselves which channel to interact on at any given moment.
This shift in expectations has already changed the way healthcare providers communicate with patients and will continue to do so. In fact, the evolution of patient communication will be motivated from many directions – patients, competitors, and technology – will work together to drive further changes to patient communication in healthcare.
How Doxim can help healthcare providers optimize patient communication
Doxim’s Customer Communication Management (CCM) platform enables healthcare providers to deliver a modern communication experience, within a secure and compliant framework.
Healthcare communication has a lot of regulatory requirements, but this complexity can be hidden from the patient to make the experience as simple and frictionless as possible. Consolidating print and digital communications simplifies processes and allows for a single view of all communications a patient receives.
Doxim CCM offers healthcare providers:
- An easy-to-use cloud portal
- Print excellence & business continuity
- Digital capabilities & ePresentment
- A secure and compliant CCM platform
- A communications partner you can grow with over time