The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed several things in our lives that we took for granted: things like time with family and friends, going to the movies, even getting stuck in traffic seem like things from a different era. In the meantime, we have found compromises for the ways of life that we miss most—videoconferencing, subscribing to streaming services, and, well, no one really misses traffic jams enough to recreate them intentionally.
A positive thing that has come about since the start of the pandemic is the increase in conversation about mental and physical health and wellbeing. While it is by no means easy to handle living in what feels like a muted version of real life, many people have found reaching out to others online to be beneficial to their mental health. The hope would be that this encouragement of reaching out when you need help would continue beyond the pandemic. When it comes to individual health and wellbeing, physical or mental, we ought to destigmatize reaching out for help when we need it. However, there are not always quick or easy ways to reach out to physicians or to hear crucial test results in a timely manner.
This is where healthcare messaging and SMS marketing come in. Healthcare messaging enables patients to receive communications from their healthcare provider on their mobile devices. With omnichannel communication, the aforementioned reaching out when one needs help comes into focus. Sending a message to a physician seems far less intimidating when it is a simple text rather than making a phone call or logging in to a patient portal. Healthcare messaging is easier and more time-efficient for the patient as well as the provider. By allowing patients to cancel or reschedule appointments in a message, office staff is able to immediately change the schedule of the physician and send out a message to patient waitlists.
Not only does it eliminate the chance of scheduling error by having an explicit written record, it also saves time by lessening the amount of phone calls made for simple things like appointment reminders. Staff can also easily tell if messages are received or not, and patients have the ability to go back and reference the conversation for the specifics of treatment plans or to double-check appointment times.
Healthcare messaging also helps to further build a community within the medical community. Many physicians already consult one another in order to give a certain case the best treatment they can, and healthcare messaging could help streamline their advice to one another. Implementing these communication methods would also allow healthcare professionals to create group chats for those with similar cases, to be able to create a support group and thus help the mental health of those facing similar struggles.
Health and wellbeing go hand in hand, and improving communication in healthcare is a simple way to help more people take better care of themselves. But there are so many other potential benefits to implementing omnichannel communication in a healthcare setting, including but not limited to saving money and saving lives. For more information, see the visual deep dive below:
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