Streamlining Communication: Patient Communication Trends to Look For
This month, our partner Artera, an industry leader in patient communication, released a new report, Trends in Patient Communication, focusing on how patients respond to various digital patient communication platforms.
By surveying more than 2,000 patients over the last 12 months, the report offered critical insight into the current landscape of patient communication while taking a look at what the future might have in store. Additionally, the study examined current trends, like text messaging, and their impact on patient satisfaction.
Here are some of the highlights from the report that stood out to us:
Text and SMS take the lead: According to Artera's report, most healthcare providers utilize basic texting to provide transactional exchanges with their patients. While this is a simple way to streamline communication, most patients believe it's not enough, as 75% reported that most of their text exchanges are simple and too vague, leaving them feeling frustrated and confused. Patients want more than a simple text reminding them of their appointment; they want a solid digital patient engagement strategy that goes further. Healthcare providers should consider adopting advanced messaging solutions offering comprehensive information, personalized interactions, and a holistic approach to patient engagement, ensuring a more satisfying patient experience.
Patients want a conversation, not a lecture: In Artera's report, patients were asked which messaging type they preferred — conversational or basic. Over 64% of patients surveyed stated that they like a conversational messaging experience. Even further, 78% of patients deemed casual messaging experiences as "great" or good." In addition, 79% reported that they want their provider to provide text-based conversation for any topic related to their care. Interactive and conversational messaging offers benefits such as message customization, a wide range of workflows, and messages sent through long-code, ensuring a more tailored and engaging experience.
Patients use more than one platform: One of the more interesting discoveries from Artera's report was the fact that most patients use multiple platforms to communicate with their care providers. From coordinating care to receiving test results, patients divide their time between phone and digital outlets to communicate with their care providers. For example, for pre-appointment instructions, Artera reported that 30% of patients preferred communicating via phone, while another 25% preferred text, and another 25% selected to communicate through a patient portal. Without a multiple-platform channel, healthcare providers risk missing crucial opportunities to engage their patients better. It's imperative for providers to adapt and offer flexibility in communication methods to enhance patient satisfaction and engagement.
While the industry has made significant progress toward modernizing digital patient communication, this report serves as a look into where we are as an industry and, better yet, where we should be. But if there's one thing you take away, it's that the future of patient communication is going mobile.