Technology provides several benefits and drawbacks for doctors who want to communicate with their patients. Here are several ways to use technology to create better relationships with the patients you serve.
Use Technology to Collect Information
One way to improve patient communication is to use software to collect information about patients' complaints and medical history. When patients check in, they can use a tablet to select their symptoms, report new health problems, and answer medical questions. The ease of use for these programs might make your patients more likely to respond in detail, since they don't need to write out long answers themselves. This can also be a great way to collect information from patients who are shy or have trouble with verbal communication.
Embrace the Internet
Patients' internet searches can present some problems for doctors. When a patient comes into the office with a preconceived notion about their symptoms and health conditions, it can be more difficult to provide trusted care.
There are a few ways that doctors can manage self-informed patients. First, doctors can help verify or debunk information that patients find on the internet. They can also help guide their patients towards reliable sources of online health information. Finally, doctors can take the time to remind patients that health care providers are still the most reliable source of health information. This takes a bit of finesse, because doctors need to assert their positions as experts without alienating patients who find internet sources useful. By embracing patients' newfound internet knowledge and validating their questions, doctors can help keep the link between patients and healthcare providers strong.
Create a Patient Portal
The patient portal is one of the best tools that doctors have at their disposal for communicating with patients. A portal allows patients to schedule appointments, communicate with their doctors, and ask questions about treatments through the health care provider's website. A patient portal makes it easier for patients to reach out to the health care provider; they no longer need to wait on the phone for assistance.
From the doctor's perspective, the technology allows them to more easily manage patients' questions. The nursing assistant might be the first person to respond to patient queries, and they can redirect more detailed questions to a nurse or doctor. By using these strategies to stay in touch with patients and help provide a comprehensive service, doctors can greatly improve the communication and relationships they have with their patients.