Using technology to enhance patient care

By Brooke Strickland

For many doctors, traditional ways of interaction such as phone calls at the end of the day or handwritten notes are the way to go. But in a society that has become technology-dependent, many doctors are embracing the fact that patients are online and are using that to their advantage to enhance the way they care for their patients.

For example, if you have a patient that has a question after hours and they are given the option to email you a question i

Instead of call you, they’ll more often than not, email you instead. It’s easy, it’s fast, and when it comes to you responding, you don’t have to allot 10 minutes out of the day to talk to them on a phone call. Instead, with a couple clicks of a button, you can send them an email and you’re done in a minute or two. Easy, right?

Embedding technology into your daily operations is easy and effective. In fact, a survey last year found that more than 20 percent (with that percentage rising every year) of doctors out there engage in emails with patients over secure networks and other doctors offer sites where patients can set up appointments or view their lab results. In addition, more than 60 percent of state health departments use social media to distribute information to patients.

So, if you are one that has been hesitant to start using social media to reach new patients or to interact with them, think again. Patients are looking for you in these places and if you’re there, they will be thrilled that they are being given a chance to interact with you in this way. In a patient’s eyes, having your practice available via social media makes them feel that you’re ready to meet them where they’re at, rather than them having to conform to your schedule. Having a patient feel like you’re available, gives them the sense that they are receiving a greater level of attention and care. This translates to happier patients that are more likely to refer your practice to others.


Sources:

“New breed of doctors turn to social media, texting for patient care.” CBS News. June 11, 2012. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57450447-10391704/new-breed-of-doctors-turn-to-social-media-texting-for-patient-care/ Accessed October 20, 2012.