When working in healthcare, time should be dedicated to patients. This can become quite difficult when you face daily planning and financial challenges. In this article, discover how you can tackle these challenges efficiently.
Causes of time loss and extra work in the healthcare sector
Not all industries are the same, and sometimes what can be a minor issue for some can be a costly matter for others. One of the most recurrent issues in healthcare communication? Patients that do not show up for their appointments. This causes many last-minute changes in doctor’s agendas, disturbing their efficiency.
When it comes to costly issues, unpaid invoices make the top of the list. They affect the cash flow, blocking you from paying your own invoices on time. This becomes a vicious circle. Also, efforts put into follow up to limit these drawbacks are often costly.
Finally, healthcare communication can contain repetitive tasks that can take up a lot of time. For example, providing a secured Wi-Fi access to patients through a password. Or notifying employees about special events.
How to automate healthcare communication for more efficient processes?
All the issues listed above have one thing in common: they are communication issues. By using the right tools, these healthcare communication processes can easily be automated, to save time and money.
Appointment reminders to improve healthcare communication
To solve the problem of patient no-shows, the best is to handle the problem at its core. Thus, it is important to understand why the patient does not give you notice when they don’t show up. Did they forget the date? Or did they have a setback?
Once you know why, you can start to take action. Do your patients tend to forget their appointment? Send them an appointment reminder the day before. Adding the possibility to cancel the appointment in the message will reduce no-shows. Do most patients that do not show up have last-minute setbacks? Provide them with an easy way to let you know their change of plans, such as an automated call, an SMS or an email.
Once you know what and when you are going to send, you need to focus on how you are going to send your healthcare communication. To determine which channel suits your customers best, analyze your customers’ preferences.
If you do not have information on it, you can try out different channels and see which one performs best. SMS will give you a quick and efficient reach. With automated calls, you can record your own message and have a more personal approach. Using emails will allow you to send several reminders without seeming too spamy.
Using appointment reminders can lead to up to 50% decrease of no-shows. They will allow you to better organize the agendas and avoiding last-minute changes.
Improving cash-flows and limit unpaid invoices
Unpaid invoices cost a lot of money. It affects your cashflow position and, to get paid, you need to have extra follow up. Luckily, this follow-up can be automated. Instead of sending payment reminders by email or snail mail, use automated sendings.
You can choose between several channels to do so. Email is usually used in B2B companies. So, it might not be the best channel for healthcare communication. SMS or automated calls shoul be a better option. Both channels are more personal and direct than email.
No matter which channel you choose, make sure that the recipient can make its payment on the spot. Set a link in your email or SMS and include an option to receive written information in your calls.
Usually, unpaid invoices are the result of an oversight. Even if this is not an issue specific to healthcare communication, it might be more recurrent in the sector. Patients often have other things on their minds and forget to pay the bill. Your customers will most likely pay their debts when they will receive the reminder.
Do you want more information about how to put in place payment reminders for your company? Download our ebook on payment reminders in french or in dutch.
Automated communication to handle repetitive processes
Most employees have repetitive tasks, and the healthcare sector is no exception. Securing the access to networks or communicating recurrent information are a few examples.
The example of Wi-Fi passwords is a very good one. Imagine having to provide a password to all the patients of a your structure. You would probably ignore security rules and stop using a password!
To avoid having to do this, you can also automate the process. By using an OTP (one-time password), patients will receive their password by SMS. It will allow you to keep a high safety level while removing the need to generate the passwords. You can apply the same solution to restrict access to sensitive information.
For some recurring events, you need the right members of your team to receive a notification. To give an example in the healthcare sector, this could be when the level of medicine for a patient is low.
You can send automated alerts triggered by any specific event using APIs: sensors, IoT, servers, applications… On top of automating the repetitive tasks of notifying concerned employees, you also increase the chance of the employee receiving the alert earlier, thus saving time.
Do you want to automate your healthcare communication? Then do not hesitate anymore and contact us today!
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