How frequent and effective communication tools improve patient satisfaction.
“Communication is key” is a common phrase used in many areas of life, including relationships with partners, friends and colleagues. The phrase is just as applicable when talking about the relationship between physician and patient.
Technologies such as telehealth, mobile apps and remote patient monitoring devices have made the foundation for a stronger patient-provider relationship. More frequent communication and incorporating effective communication tools into patient encounters has shown to improve patient satisfaction rates, care delivery and health outcomes. Other benefits include:
- Patients disclosing more information
- Enhanced patient satisfaction
- Better rapport between patient and professional
- Patients feeling more involved in decision making
- More accurate diagnosis
- More realistic patient expectations
- Patients better adhering to treatment
- Patients seeking further care and
- Easier transition between sites and settings i.e., when a patient needs to start seeing a specialist.
Better communication is a win/win for both parties, but it’s not just about patient-to-provider satisfaction and engagement. Ineffective team communication has been found to be the root cause of approximately 66% of all medical errors. In addition, most malpractice claims arise from communication issues between the clinician and the patient. Better communication in integrated health care practices not only improves the experience for all involved, it also saves lives.
The first step in improving communication in your practice is understanding how patients prefer to communicate. The most important takeaway here is that mobile is the future of health care. According to Pew Research, 81% of American adults have a smartphone. In addition, there are over 318,000 mobile health apps available and over 60% of Americans have downloaded a mobile health app. Another Pew Research study found that more Americans used their smartphone for mobile health than any other activity.
In our next blog we will explore where communication breakdowns occur and how technology can help solve them. Check back next week for part 2. To learn more about how HiMS can help improve communication within your health care practice, visit hmsfirst.com.
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