Empower Patients and Family Caregivers
Patients with chronic or complicated conditions often have an entire support network that healthcare providers and care managers never actually interact with, even though this team is often vital to patient success. These family or personal caregivers help patients manage their daily activities, their medications, monitor treatment plans, coordinate appointments and more.
Establishing a way for care managers, who often orchestrate patient care, to ensure that family caregivers have access to first-hand information regarding patient care can clear up potential miscommunications and give everyone involved peace of mind. What steps can care managers take to convey this information to important members of the family care team without violating HIPAA laws?
A More Effective Communication Platform for Patients and Caregivers
The traditional way of relaying care and discharge instructions is just not efficient. The forms, which are often only available in hard-copy format, with instructions are often misplaced, difficult to read, and never quite seem to have enough information on them. Aside from this, patients may not have access to scanners or fax machines to distribute these instructions to their personal or family care team.
The solution to this problem may be closer to home than you would expect – text messaging. Text messaging provides a fast way to contact a patient’s personal or family care team using a platform that they and their family members are already familiar with.
Of course, you can’t just text healthcare information to patients and their families. To effectively reach them while remaining HIPAA compliant, the patient must first consent to have their information shared with these individuals. After receiving consent, a compliant and secure platform must be used to relay this information. By utilizing a texting platform designed for healthcare providers, this information can be shared quickly and effectively, ensuring that these care instructions are received promptly and are easily accessible. With a HIPAA-compliant texting solution, providers can share information and weblinks (such as links referencing care instructions) with patients and family caregivers.
Increase Patient Communication for Caregivers
Texting enables two-way communication from provider to patient/caregiver or from caregiver/patient to provider. Because of this, the platform offers a quick and easy way to identify high-risk or concerned patients, allowing practitioners to quickly reconnect with them to address concerns. This accessible form of communication also allows patients and family caregivers ask questions using the platform. There may be questions that patients are unwilling to ask during face-to-face interactions, as they may be embarrassed, not wanting to seem uninformed. A mediated platform can encourage patients (or family caregivers) to ask questions, potentially reducing readmission rates, as well as patient anxieties.
An added benefit of utilizing texting platforms is that family caregivers can easily access these platforms to connect with providers and other members of the care team. Often times, after a patient has had an operation or procedure, it is up to a friend or family member to care for them during a recovery period. If this family caregiver has a question about follow-up care or the medication that needs to be administered, it’s vital that they have an open line of communication to turn to. Text messaging can bridge this gap by allowing family caregivers to contact the practitioner’s team for clarification.
Leveraging Automation for Effective and Efficient Patient Outcomes
Text messaging can also alleviate many of the stressors that patient follow-up puts on office staff. So much time is spent scheduling and rescheduling appointments and calling patients to remind them about upcoming visits that it overwhelms office staff. With text messaging, practitioners and their staff can reclaim this time by automating these tasks – sending text messages to remind patients when their appointments are, how to get there, what to expect and more. Patients can also respond to these texts, asking to reschedule or cancel their appointments. It’s estimated that no-shows cost the healthcare industry over a billion dollars annually, imagine the benefits that reducing no-shows by over 20% could have on your practice.
To engage and activate patients and their caregivers, HIPAA compliant messaging platforms are efficient, cost effective solutions that your patients are already familiar with. To learn more about the benefits of CareWire and its unique ability to keep family caregivers, patients, and care managers informed about a patient’s status, here’s more information on our text-first solution.
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