The technology revolution has transformed all our lives in ways we would not even have imagined only a few years back. However, not everyone has embraced the new ways of communication that are now available to people in their daily lives at home and at work. Surprisingly among the segments that have been laggards in adopting new age communication technology is healthcare.
Many of the doctors, nurses, therapists, administrators are sometimes hesitant in using electronic means of communicating with their patients, even when such communication is secure because they fear the possible misinterpretation by the patients. Many healthcare professionals do not do so for fear of adding more work to their already hectic schedule. Conversely, there are those healthcare practitioners especially those that run small and independent set-ups who would be happier with busier schedules!
There are some interesting stats about the growth of digital communication between medical practitioners and patients, which show that there was everything to be gained by adopting electronic means of communication. Various studies have confirmed that those providers who had adopted digital means of communication were quite satisfied with the results. In fact, healthcare centers that made modern means of communication an integral part of their healthcare delivery best practices, not only saw higher levels of satisfaction among the patients and staff but also saw a spike in patient enrollment.
Central to the success of such health centers is the fact that they are patient-centric, meaning that they give due importance to ascertaining the needs of the patients. It is not surprising that such practices do well for need identification and fulfillment is a classical marketing tenet, as any MBA would love to tell you. What this does is usher in the efficiencies of a typical market scenario into healthcare. Simply put, the market choice will determine that healthcare centers that put a premium on patient communication will do much better than those who don’t.
This emphasis on healthcare communication or patient communication has a lot to do with the way a patient has come to be perceived in the 21st century. Increasingly terms such as client, customer or enrollee are being used in reference to those that healthcare professionals treat. While the word patient might describe someone who is submissive and at the mercy of others, being a client or customer returns the dignity and indeed power to such a person. He or she now seeks information and demands performance and accountability from the health giver.
As communicating with a customer marks a paradigm shift from the times healthcare professionals were dealing with mere patients, many of them now seek assistance from professional patient communication companies to help them come up with effective outreach strategies. Going forward the patient communication function seems set to become all pervasive with more and more healthcare practitioners irrespective of their scale of operation taking to it.