When it comes to the doctor-patient relationship, effective communication is vital. The National Library of Medicine concluded that there is “impressive evidence supporting positive associations between physician communication behaviors and positive patient outcomes.” More outlets than ever exist to communicate in this digital age. However, experts agree that there’s a right way and a wrong way to use technology in correspondence. If your medical practice is ditching the landline, here is some valuable advice on how to communicate with patients.
Three is the Magic Number
According to communications expert Randa Zalman, multiple platforms of messaging are perfectly acceptable, but limit it to three. This will prevent patients from feeling overwhelmed by redundant messages. Moreover, have a clear game plan for what types of messaging make the most sense for each type of communication. Then, stick to it. An appointment reminder, for example, might merit being sent multiple ways, but a simple holiday hours announcement would make more sense as an email.
Be Direct with Your Patients
If your clinic has decided to adopt more advanced forms of communication that require a less “hands on” approach, it’s no excuse to become lazy with correspondence. Clear and direct messages convey a sense of real conversation between the physician and patient that should always be present. On the other hand, avoid the urge to use too many emoticons or text abbreviations to appear overly casual. Professionalism should be always be maintained. Just because your text messages allow you to send smiley faces doesn’t mean you should!
Use Automation to Streamline Communication
Never leave important communication to the possibility of human error. Rather than relying on staff to make appointment reminder calls, choose software that automatically sends reminders several days before office visits. If your practice keeps patients outside until you’re ready to see them, choose software that automatically instructs them what to do. Needing more 5-star reviews? Don’t rely on staff to ask for them. Instead, implement a solution that will always remember to ask patients for one.
DocResponse Knows How to Communicate with Patients
While good “bedside manner” will always be up to the physicians themselves, DocResponse takes the heavy lifting out of communicating effectively. Through DocResponse, gain the freedom to:
- Send automatic appointment reminders via SMS or email through a comprehensive digital check-in solution
- Automatically instruct patients to stay in their cars and text upon arrival, then notify them when you’re ready to see them via virtual waiting room software
- Instantly request positive reviews from patients via SMS through a reputation management tool
Effective communication across an entire practice is challenging sometimes, but DocResponse’s solutions help. Schedule a demo today to learn more about how their software will improve your clinic!