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Effective Patient- Provider Communication - A key to success for your practice

12 Nov 2018 | by Dr. Surabhi Bhati

Quality service delivery is the key to success for any consumer based service provider and communication with the user plays a vital role. This holds true for hospitals and healthcare services as well. Effective patient-provider communication is essential for any practice to succeed. Most important member of any health care system is the patient. Healthcare revolves around the care of patients. As a provider, you always strive to provide the best possible care to all patients coming to your facility.

It is an undeniable fact that the success of your practice is always decided by your patient-centric approach to care delivery. It is important that you have your hospitals operations and services aligned keeping the patient at the centre. The communication between healthcare providers and patients plays a vital role in enhancing patient’s understanding of his condition and systematically guides him towards a healthy recovery.

Before talking about benefits and how to use patient-provider communication to improve patient care, I would like to highlight the importance of collecting patient feedback to quantifiably measure your patient-centric approach. Patient-generated data with effective communication tools provide greater insight into the effectiveness of your patient-centric processes and operational activities.

“Make effective communication centre of your healthcare delivery"

It is evident that disease pattern is changing worldwide from acute short-term diseases like flu, fever, etc to chronic long-term diseases like diabetes, hypertension etc. It would be appropriate to term them as conditions rather than a disease as a patient have to live with them for their lifetime. These conditions are rarely completely treated and are needed to be managed with collaborative efforts of patient and the physician.

With emerging chronic diseases the success of treatment is profoundly dependent on patient's adherence to the advised treatment plan. Physician and clinicians can support and guide the patient but it is the patient who has to take the steps towards the path of healthy living.

"Patient retains less than 20 % of what doctors tell them"

Most of the times patient appear lost either due to lack of information or overload of unnecessary information which is further complicated with difficult to understand medical terminology. This kind of communication causes uneasiness and confusion for the patient. They find it difficult to adhere to the advised treatment plan.

It is critical to know that comprehensible coordinated interaction between the patient and provider is the key of successful practice. Well organised communication between physician and patients have a positive impact on patient care and overall patient satisfaction.

In the modern world of information technology reaching out to the patients is not difficult or cumbersome. Few of the tools that are readily available for your use are email, reminder SMS, and communication Patient Relationship Management (PRM) portals like MedEngage.

These tools can be used to perform various activities like,

  • Appointment reminders to prevent no-show.
  • Send medical prescription and lab reports to the patient.
  • Sharing prescription details.
  • Two- way patient-provider communication.
  • Providing a one-stop solution to keep all the patient related reports.
  • Keeping patient active and involved in self-care by providing relevant self-help tips and guidelines.

It is right time that the healthcare system should start using sophisticated patient-centric communication tools like PRM systems to keep their existing patients informed and engaged in their treatment plan. Patient relationship management tool not only acts as a great patient-provider communication tool but also act as the data repository for all your patients. It keeps all the communication starting from day one till the time the patient is fully treated.

“Use patient relationship management tools to outreach, communicate and engage your patients towards a path of healthy living”


Advantages of improved patient-provider communication

Let's dig further and discuss how improved communication with your patients helps and grow your practice,

1) Improved patient adherence to the treatment plan

As explained earlier, with the current changes in disease patterns and increasing incidences of chronic diseases. It is essential to keep the patients informed, engaged and active in their own health. Patients very much need to understand how to self-manage their condition. A physician needs to listen to the patient’s need and shall be able to communicate the treatment plan easily comprehensible by the patient and his family. In short, the doctor needs to wear multiple hats at a time to heal their patients. Modern tools like, videos, articles, 3D description videos, prescription reminders, fitness applications play a major role in letting the patient understand what they should do to take care of their health and keep the track of how they are managing their condition.

2) Improve the relationship between healthcare providers and patients

Patients usually do not care about how much the doctor know about the condition until they know that the doctor care for them.  Only after a trusted relationship patient start to follow the doctor’s recommendation. It is the relationship which builds trust and guides the patient to be compliant with his treatment plan. This approach not only builds trust but also loyalty within your existing patient base.

3) Reduce appointment no-show with reminder SMS

Not showing up after booking the appointment online is a very frequent problem in the healthcare industry. Approximately 30% of medical appointment is either cancelled or is not attended by the patients. These can be reduced significantly with a simple appointment reminder SMS to the patient on the day of appointment or at least 3 hrs before the scheduled appointment.

4) Streamlining your internal processes and keep employees motivated

With an open channel of communication and building trust with the patient. Patient start appreciating the time and efforts put in by the hospital staff and hospital staff have a sense of job satisfaction.

Improved communication with your patient is a win-win for all. It not only makes your patient happy with the services that you provide but also keeps your doctors and staff happy and satisfied with their job.

Want to improve the communication with CRM tools for your hospital? Contact Healtho5 today for MedEngage® CRM.

We at Healtho5 are on a mission to solve patient engagement and experience in India and provide affordable easy to use solutions to the healthcare industry and patients.

Visit Healtho5 or call us @ +91-8047092031


About the Author: Dr Surabhi Bhati is Marketing Manager at Healtho5 Solutions. She has a medical degree with an MBA in Health Information Technology (HIT). She is passionate about healthcare innovation, writing, and online marketing.