Being healthy is essential to a person’s happiness and success. However, health processes and services today pose numerous challenges both to patients and health care providers including misdirected incoming calls, lab results getting to the wrong doctor, and unnecessary long walks by hospital staff.
Complex cases and billing procedures require health facilities to collaborate with numerous doctors, patients, insurance providers, and other health professionals. As such, health care systems need universal and practical communication channels.
Methods of communication have advanced over the last decade. Not too long ago, hospital communications were limited to emails and phone calls. As health professionals have grown increasingly mobile, so did patient communication and interaction.
Compared to phone calls which require the person to stop whatever he is doing to take the call, text messages leave trunk lines open for emergencies and time sensitive cases.
There is also a free flow of communication among patients, internal staff, and external professionals. Communicating with health clinics from multiple sites is also easier.
SMS can also be used to send updates and appointment confirmations to patients, thereby reducing the number of no-shows.
Text alerts can be sent to the public in case a highly contagious disease is on the rise. Within minutes, mass messages containing information about the disease, what the people should do, and when to seek medical help can reach hundreds of individuals.
Another area that will greatly benefit with this service is internal staff communications. SMS provide higher response rates for follow throughs regarding changes to timetables and staff requests. Text messaging takes away the hassle of calling out personnel over loudspeakers for staff meetings or non-emergency cases.
There is a growing urgency for efficient communication to make processes seamless while still providing quality healthcare and this is where SMS technology can prove to be extremely valuable.
SMS technology has been tested, tried, and it’s been proven effective as a communication channel. The truth is, text messaging is very much a part of our professional and personal lives. Most people have access to it and are comfortable using it. This means that health care providers should continue using text-based avenues for communications to run smoothly both within and across multi-site health facilities.
Richard Michael is an Instructor and Senior consultant in the fields of contact center operations, process design, management and technology with over 25 years experience across multiple industries including financial services, technology, utilities, telecommunications and healthcare. Richard Michael renowned thought leader, writer, seminar developer/presenter and keynote speaker at a variety of call center events across four continents. He has conducted training for over a thousand call center managers in numerous countries on the most effective methods to manage call center environments. He frequently quoted in trade journals and the author of many white papers and industry-related articles in contact center industry publications.
Computerized physician order entry should be integrated with electronic medical record to enrich a doctor with the data of a patient’s medical record, diagnosis performed, period of stay etc. that will help in further treatment. With lab information system one can keep a tab on the usage and requirement of different types of equipment. This is to ensure that they are being used in the right manner and if there is a need for new, and then order just the required quantity to avoid unnecessary expenditure.
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