February 5, 2015
Patients Want to Communicate With You, Even When They’re Healthy
A 2013 study found that 80 percent of patients say it is their doctors job to keep them healthy, not just to treat them when they are ill, and “70 percent of respondents say their doc has never checked on them when they weren’t sick in order to help them stay healthy.”
Here are some other key findings:
- Just 25 percent of those polled said they felt their healthcare provider was accessible to them when they have questions or concerns.
- 50 percent of respondents said they believed texts, emails or smartphone apps with tips, reminders and encouragement could have helped them avoid a past health problem.
- And 68 percent said their doctor has never sent them a text message or email regarding upcoming appointment reminders, discharge information or electronic health resources.
- 25 percent of people forget to take their medications on a regular basis, costing the industry an estimated $300b annually.
This study, and several others like it, show that while healthcare is using technology in some truly incredible ways- at least in a clinical sense (imaging, diagnostics, etc.)- the industry has been late to employ some of the most basic principles in terms of managing relationships.
By leveraging technology to supplement the human aspects of medicine, providers would be more effective and more efficient. This would lead to increased levels of care, lower overall costs, and an improved patient experience.
While the healthcare industry is truly unique, we would be remiss to assume that lessons learned in other industries don’t apply. For example, many successful business uses CRM (customer relationship management) software to improve their relationships with customers. Why don’t doctors use similar tools to manage their relationships with patients? One might say that tools like these don’t account for privacy laws and don’t work within the inherent hierarchical nature of medical communication. But that doesn’t mean that creative new technologies are not being built to solve these problems (hint, hint).
To learn more about how consumers want to communicate with you, download the 2014 Harris Report here.
Photo by NEC Corporation of America with CC License.
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