When focusing on outcomes for your chiropractic patients, you intuitively know that the outcomes are better when you’re working as a team. Patients, doctors, and staff ultimately all have the same goal: great, effective treatment. But one of the main barriers to success in this area is communication. Too often, communication breaks down between parties, and in today’s busy world, this becomes an ongoing challenge that can interfere with your goals.
Effective communication becomes essential when you work with patients. Today’s patients expect to be part of the team for their healthcare solutions. But not all communication is created equal when it comes to interactions. Some are more valuable than others. If you can find ways to improve the simple communications about scheduling and billing, you can then find the time to focus more on the face-to-face communications of health issues and treatments.
Unpacking what patient engagement technology looks like is crucial. Technology can create communication problems to the same degree as it can create solutions, so various solutions should be explored to optimize the most resources for the most critical communications.
Since communication is a two-way street, patients and staff will both have increased happiness if it improves. Here is how the two parties can benefit from its use.
Acquiring New Patients
When onboarding a new client, it is important to make a great first impression. Easy-to-use, online, fillable forms are much better than a paper-pencil process. The forms go straight to the patient’s inbox and are returned to the database that the staff uses.
Patients benefit from the ease of use of digital intake forms. They can communicate when and how they want to.
Staff benefit from clean data, cloud-based access, and more time to troubleshoot any problems. The communication comes directly from the patient, so errors are much less frequent.
Scheduling and Rescheduling Appointments
Since life moves quickly, patients will need an adaptable, flexible tool to schedule and reschedule appointments. They might be doing this at 9 o’clock at night, after the kids have been put to bed, or first thing in the morning while drinking their coffee. The communication system needs to have the flexibility to meet the needs of the patient.
Patients benefit from text messages that are quick and efficient. Confirming appointments is easy, and rescheduling can be handled through automation if needed.
Staff benefit from automated responses that relieve them of the inefficient burden of leaving voicemails. The cycle of calling back, leaving messages, and then receiving messages is not efficient communication and can take precious time from the staff member’s day.
The feedback loop from patient to doctor is an essential communication tool for improvement. If you focus on happiness for everyone involved, patients will be happy to share their great experiences or will appreciate having a place to provide opportunities for growth. Staff will also value the analytical nature of the data, and hearing strong feedback supports the whole practice.
Patients benefit through the use of targeted feedback options, as it removes the nuisance of “please complete the following survey” every time they complete a task. Many patients also appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback. That said, their time is valuable, so survey feedback should not be oversaturated.
Staff benefit from improved marketing through Google Reviews, operational feedback to respond to, and the ability to celebrate great client successes. Finding new clients also becomes much easier with this communication tool in place.
Always remember how critical communication is, even with these great digital solutions. The need for direct contact with a staff member at the practice will always be present. Technology communication tools are ideal most of the time, but there still must always be an option to speak to a human.
When patients feel like they have a partner in their healthcare journey, their loyalty and trust grow exponentially. But loyalty and trust are not the sole objectives—healthy and happy patients are. Using patient engagement technology is part of the path to success when it comes to expanding patient and staff happiness.