Every industry has suffered the consequences of the pandemic. The healthcare industry in particular has been under tremendous strain, so, it is understandable that many patients were impacted negatively as well.
According to a recent report by Wellframe, 57% of respondents with a chronic condition reported having delayed receiving healthcare because of the pandemic. Thus, it is now more important than ever for healthcare providers to enhance patient engagement. This will ensure better health outcomes and reduce care gaps, as well as any additional costs related to delayed care.
A post by the California Health Care Foundation states that, “Nationally, more than one in three people delayed or skipped care because they were worried about exposure to COVID-19, or because their doctor limited services, according to an Urban Institute analysis of a September 2020 survey.”
Need help improving patient engagement?
A great patient engagement journey begins with effective patient communications
Engaging patients effectively across critical touchpoints in their healthcare journey with effective communications, on the channel of their preference, and during a moment of truth can greatly influence their decision-making. This is why effective communication is essential in encouraging them to participate in further care or return to care, post-covid.
Put simply - making it easier for patients to engage with your healthcare organization essentially translates into higher quality care.
Your healthcare organization can improve patient engagement and patient experience by providing patients with relevant information at different points in their journey. Here are some examples of essential healthcare communication needs across the patient lifecycle:
- Pre diagnosis: prompt patients to have a health check-up or return for further care. Also, patients need information that will help them find the right healthcare provider that is suited to their personal needs and aligned with their healthcare plan
- Post diagnosis: patients need help understanding the next steps, booking appointments, and getting health insurance approvals
- During treatment: a step-by-step treatment program is required, written in plain language and with links to more information will go a long way to easing patient anxiety
- Post-treatment: one of the most stressful events post-treatment is understanding the fees charged and paying the bill
The goal of a comprehensive patient communication plan is to answer the patient’s questions before they ask, thus shortening the period in which they feel uninformed or out of control.
In addition to reducing stress, communication around issues such as selecting the right healthcare provider, getting the right plan approvals, knowing how bills must be paid and what they are liable for, results in a more informed patient and less friction in the entire patient journey.
When healthcare providers are consistent and transparent in their communication, patients are more likely to engage when they have questions, and give feedback or even compliments on the service they received. Furthermore, a seamless communication experience builds trust, loyalty and encourages referrals.
4 Ways your healthcare organization can leverage communications to improve patient engagement:
1. Put patients at the core of your communication strategy and design
Because healthcare is a highly regulated sector, communications are not generally designed for easy reading. While you cannot discount regulatory requirements, you can extract the information that is critical to patients and then present it in a way that is easier for them to understand.
Essentially, by keeping patients at the core of communication design, you can achieve better patient engagement and experience.
And from a technology perspective, it shouldn’t be about what can be done, instead find technology that gives customers the best patient communication experience possible. For example, select a customer communications management platform that can massage the source data into communications that addresses patients’ immediate needs.
For those that want to understand the communication in more detail, provide access to more information or transaction-level data on an appropriate channel.
2. Personalize all patient communications
Based on experience from suppliers in other sectors, patients expect their healthcare communications to be customized according to their health/treatment, stage of life, and/or personal circumstances.
Using patient data on hand to personalize communications organization, along with a data focused strategy will help to build more detailed and specific patient profiles. This helps customize future communication and also ensures better patient engagement.
3. Allow patients to select their preferred communication channel
Engaging patients on the communication channel of their choice helps builds trust, engagement and ensures a great patient experience. However, be sure to guide them as to the best channel for a communication type.
For example, you wouldn’t send a time-critical notice by printed letter or provide a detailed bill via text message. Instead, a notice can be delivered on a channel the patient interacts with most, such as email or text. And for billing, a notification can be sent by text with a link to the detailed bill on a secure portal.
4. Ensure channel integration
When offering multichannel communication options, it’s important to make all the necessary, updated, patient information securely available to all the customer engagement channels.
This means that the content of a digital communication (email, text) must be readily available to other service channels, whether self-service, human, or chatbot.
Doxim’s CCM platform can help create the best patient engagement journey through enhanced patient communications
Doxim’s comprehensive CCM platform enables patient communication at scale, while adhering to regulatory requirements. This is the foundation for building a better patient engagement journey.
Leverage Doxim’s world class CCM technology to get your critical patient communications out quickly on the channel of their choice, and patient documents online timeously and securely. This drives patient engagement, closes care gaps and ultimately boosts the patient experience.
Doxim CCM experts will advise you on designing a great patient experience and Doxim’s CCM platform has the ability to work with complex data in order to support that experience.
Doxim’s CCM platform provides tools and resources to manage all patient communications across disparate systems and teams. It also enables consistent messaging across the different channels including print, email, SMS, and the Web.
Let’s chat through your healthcare organization’s unique patient communication requirement
Connect with me
Regional Vice President, Utilities and Healthcare at Doxim.
Jason has 22+ years of experience serving a diverse array of industries, across a wide range of print and digital communication technologies. Prior to joining Doxim in July 2020, he was a Senior Client Services Manager at Taylor Communications.
In his current position as Regional Vice President, Utilities, Jason is focused on developing long-term client relationships to facilitate account growth and expedient conflict resolution, He retains a key interest in communication management in other regulated industries, such as the Healthcare sector.