The following is a guest post by Scott Zimmerman, President of TeleVox Software, Inc, whose bio appears below.
It’s well known that when EMRs are partnered with patient engagement technology, physicians can communicate more effectively and tailor their treatment plans to meet the needs of their patients. For example, a patient who has diabetes can receive communications about monitoring blood sugar, while a patient who has high blood pressure can get daily reminders to exercise and take their medication. This type of engagement can be highly beneficial, as TeleVox Healthy World research found that 83 percent of people across the nation admit they don’t follow treatment plans exactly as prescribed.
Though the use of EMRs is still debated among medical professionals, research has suggested that by transcending the in-office visit using digital technology to communicate with patients on a more regular basis, doctors may finally begin to achieve the amount of communication their patients desire. It has been estimated that three in ten U.S. consumers would trust their provider more if they received text messages, voicemails or emails that provide patient care between visits. Of the 66 percent of Americans who have received a voicemail, text or email from a healthcare provider, many report a variety of positive outcomes:
Fifty-one percent reported feeling more valued as a patient.
Thirty-five percent said digital communication improved their opinion of their provider.
Thirty-four percent reported feeling more certain about visiting that healthcare provider again.
When asked about how they felt about office visits in a virtual setting, an astounding 85 percent of patients in a study responded that communications such as email, text messages and voicemails are as helpful, if not even more helpful, than in-person or phone conversations with their healthcare provider. And when it comes to patients giving consistent full disclosure when communicating digitally, TeleVox’s research showed the following:
Thirty-four percent of U.S. consumers said they would be more honest when talking about their medical needs through an automated call, email or text message than in person with a healthcare provider.
Twenty-eight percent said they would talk more frankly about nutritional habits.
Twenty-seven percent said they would be more open to discussing their fitness regimen.
Eighteen percent said they would talk more freely about their bad habits or personal vices through digital communication rather than in-person visits.
When healthcare providers link EMRs with notifications technology, engaging patients between visits becomes as easy as writing a prescription. Physicians can use both to create and nurture that personal, human touch during the treatment process.