Hi, welcome back to another episode of the Sikka Software podcast. Today we’re going to talk about using technology to enable closer doctor-patient relationships.
A strong doctor-patient relationship is crucial to ensuring positive health outcomes for your patients. A study by Health Services Research confirmed what common sense long suspected, that patients who feel that they have a strong relationship with their provider are more active in managing their own health. Psychology has long known that likability is a strong motivator in ensuring compliance. When patients like their providers, they are more likely to follow the provider’s advice and will have better health overall. Patients will also develop a sense of loyalty to their practice.
The development of any kind of relationship takes sustained time and effort. Still, there are a few things that every provider can do in order to catalyze the formation of a strong doctor-patient relationship. Simply being polite and making an effort to listen to the patient’s concerns helps to create an environment of trust.
Another key component of creating a strong doctor-patient relationship is contacting the patient outside of office. It can be something as simple as sending a “Happy Birthday” message on a patient’s birthday. Or it can mean opening up a secure avenue of communication so that you can help to answer health-related questions that a patient may have at any time.
Traditionally, contacting the patient outside of the office usually consisted of Thank You Cards sent in the mail. Even with the advent of online communication, messaging about confidential health information with a patient was regulated by HIPAA to protect patient privacy. Communication with patients was somewhat restricted.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services FAQ page, Reasonable Safeguards need to be applied in order to communicate with patients through phone or email. Contacting patients about medical information without the necessary safeguards would bring a practice in violation of HIPAA.
Secure message applications are a safe method of communicating with patients on mobile devices. Sikka Software’s Practice Mobilizer application gives providers the ability to send secure, HIPAA-compliant messages to their patients who have downloaded the Patient Mobilizer application.
Encouraging patients to use this method is simple. In the Practice Mobilizer app, providers have the option to send a text to all patients with recent appointments, encouraging them to download Patient Mobilizer in order to facilitate ease of communication. They can then use the Patient Mobilizer to establish and foster closer doctor-patient relationships.
This has been another episode of the Sikka Software podcast, where we give you tips and strategies to optimize your practice. Thanks for listening. Until next time.