Busy practices and ambulatory services centers know how much manpower it takes to share information with patients. Even more so when that information is time sensitive or condition critical. They know the pain of trying to collect the necessary forms, set up referrals, and contact no-shows and cancellations. They know the should survey patients about quality, satisfaction, and more. Making the reasons to use secure texting with patients abundant.
Securing texting with patients solves all these communication challenges. And by solved, not just in theory, but in real life. Reputable providers have successfully addressed these needs and more. Let’s take a closer look at how secure texting with patients improves the workflow and business operations of any ambulatory service center.
Secure texting is a just like other texting on smartphones or desktops. The difference is the information is protected and encrypted between a KIA and a Porsche, not all secure texting apps are created equally.From features to security measures, there’s a lot of variation out there. and data privacy is of the utmost importance. Look for a platform with cloud pass-through technology. Rather than one that stores all of your sensitive information in an ever-hackable cloud. Be sure to ask about dual key encryption. This requires both the sender and receiver to have unique keys to unlock the information sent. Lastly, don’t choose a vendor that skimps on features. Secure texting is great. Integrated modules like oncall scheduling, e-faxing, and a HIPAA Camera really bring it to life.
In The Importance of Good Communication Between Patient and Health Professionals , published in the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Markos Markides reminds us that communication is therapeutic. He said, “The quality of the relationship between the patient and health professional can be therapeutic for the patient. It plays a significant role in the outcome of the whole treatment and it is as healing and as important as chemotherapy.” He goes on to note that good communication with patients is not only good for them but for the care team as well. Clinicians don’t go into the business of medicine because they don’t like people. They go into this field because they want to help people and make a difference. They need the feedback and interaction just as badly as patients do.
Take a look at some of these questions from a recent HCAHPS survey, notice how care is directly correlated to communication? As it relates to care from nurses and physicians, patients were asked how clinicians explained things and if the listed to you. Another question asks about the level of courtesy and respect. Why such an emphasis on communication? Because it's the key to unlock teamwork and quality care, whether in a hospital setting or outpatient. The bottom line is communicate needs to be better, more frequent, and with intention.
Selecting a secure texting application with modules like OnCall Scheduling or image capture can boost your workflow. Products with advanced features integrated in their secure texting platform can literally save lives. Whether by using a HIPAA Camera to transmit EKGs from the field for early reads on STEMI patients or by preventing opioid abuse by harnessing the power of a CareChannel. Products that provide integrated services allow secure texting users to communicate with their network on a new level. Is your practice experiencing bottlenecks in workflow? These typically occur at the point of registration. It also happens when awaiting results and at the end of a visit. What if you could shorten the intake process by allowing patients to send completed forms in advance, forms that could be tied directly to their chart? What if they didn’t have to wait for lab results because you could communicate any abnormal or critical result to them via text, with pertinent follow-up information included? How about providing electronic end-of-visit summaries to the patient via text? All of this and more is possible to help you alleviate workflow concerns.
It’s not a stretch to say secure texting can improve patient outcomes. Let’s take the ambulatory surgical center for example. You’ve just discharged Ms. Sample after a simple outpatient procedure. Things appeared to go well, but within 24 hours, her fever spikes. It’s Friday night, and Ms. Sample calls the after-hours answering service. The provider on-call is not familiar with Ms. Sample or cannot be reached. Ms. Sample is advised to go to her local ER. Hello, avoidable readmission! In an even worse scenario, Ms. Sample doesn’t know who to call and takes the advice of a friend-of-a-friend-who went to medical school for a few semesters. They tell her to sweat it out, that she can take OTC fever reducers over the weekend, She can try the doctor on Monday. They didn’t know her vitals have changed. Her her blood pressure has decreased. Respiratory rate is heightened, and her lactic acid levels are creeping up. These are signs of Sepsis, but they wouldn't have this critical information.When your patient can reach you or a your care team directly with these condition-specific questions, you know they"ll get a quality response With quality care comes improved outcomes.
Clinicians know a multidisciplinary team makes a great impact on patient care. Multidisciplinary care teams bring together their collective knowledge. It offers the ability to efficiently manage a patient’s condition. This approach doesn’t have to be confined to the hospital bedside.Initiate multidisciplinary communication with your patients via secure texting. With the right app, create multi-party messages. Bring together nurses, primary care, surgeons, care coordinators, pharmacies, and more for a conversation that’s less “let me get back to you on that” and more “I’m glad we could help!”The opposite is true, too. Easily coordinate with the patient and their at-home caregivers. Traditionally, caregivers have been parents. An aging population means adult children are now caregivers for their parents. Involving the patient’s caregiver can prevent errors and reduce redundancy for everyone.
We’ve covered at least four reasons why secure texting with patients post-procedure is important.
Now think about the inverse of these reasons. Without secure texting, you’re not communicating as well as you could be. Your workflow remains constrained. Patient outcomes may be suffering. There is a disconnection between you, patients, and other care team members. Secure texting is much easier than chasing down referrals and returning calls and emails.You can do better, and why not? Secure texting has come a long way, both in features and pricing. It may be one of the smallest investments you make in your practice that yields the greatest return.Want to know more? Contact one of our clinical collaboration specialists today to find out why we're trusted by so many ambulatory care services.
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