The digital revolution is changing many industries, health care included. While this means changes for medical staff, it also opens opportunities to engage with patients. Whether it's stronger communication, efficient records management, or crowdsourcing clinical trials, healthcare can – and is - using digital advances for growth.
1. Create Stronger Communication With Patient Portals.
Patient portals embrace the possibilities of the future with what is available at the present. This open communication without needing to call the office builds a stronger patient-doctor relationship because patients can directly message with the doctor and his nursing staff.
2. Strengthen Inter-Specialty Collaboration
This is one of the strongest reasons to go digital: serving patients better begins with stronger communication with other doctors. Some patients may be seeing doctors from other specialties, all of whom need each others' information. Utilizing digital records management and communication can connect providers and provide the best care possible for patients. Deploying this type of solution can result in all sorts of efficiencies:
- Increase speed to treatment.
- Reduce errors.
- Manage the flow of referrals.
- Reduce administrative staff’s time spent on coordinating records with phone calls and faxes.
3. Establish Efficient Records Management
Physical records can be lost, whether by accident, negligence, or disaster. But it doesn't need to be that way. Digital records (PHRs) are not only accessible outside the office if needed, but can also be used by multiple staff at once which is a more efficient use of time and resources. While security is a concern with patient's information, there are measures to ensure that information is secure yet accessible.
4. Crowdsource Clinical Trials for Stronger Results
Crowdsourcing has been used for anything from funding a product to creating a film, and now it's the medical community's chance to utilize it. Canvassing contributions from a digital community can help trials gain traction faster. Matthew Katz, MD, published an article last year emphasizing using multiple clinicians to build different parts of the trial, which helps them build experience and trials materialize faster to help more people. Cooperative groups of clinicians and administrators can tackle an issue together instead of each trying separately.
5. See Patients as a TeleDoc
Online appointments, better known as “TeleMedicine”, are one of the newest and most exciting advances in the medical community, and for good reason. Patients can make the appointment wherever they are, and save travel time. While there's a risk for losing that personal connection with a remote setup, it can be worth it. It makes it easier for patients to visit a doctor when they typically would not, which helps their health and your practice.
6. Thought Leadership = Patient Loyalty.
Engaging with patients through your website can be more than finding your address. In fact, 62% of smartphone owners have used their phone in the past year to look up information about a health condition. Creating resources with relevant information can help you win patients, engage patients, increase loyalty, and keep them returning to your site and your advice when they have a question.
There are many opportunities, with writing being the most common. For engaging content, think big; videos of doctors discussing a new study and how it relates to the patient are more engaging than words on a screen. A simple DSLR and tripod setup can create a video sharing your doctor's expertise with your patients.
You’ll help create a healthier community, and stay top of mind with an inbound content strategy that’s proven across a span of industries.
Continue the Discussion
Technology is an incredible way to empower your practice, both by better facilitating patient-doctor interaction and by helping your staff function efficiently. By using these digital advances, you can improve internal and external processes. How are you using technology to drive patient engagement today? Leave a comment below.