Healthcare is transitioning into a more consumer-focused industry. Patients are increasingly more active in managing their own healthcare. They are able to gather more information about medical conditions, illnesses and treatment options. Overall, patients are able to have more of an informed opinion and say in their care than they could in the past.
This is an age of value and convenience in healthcare, and providers need to capitalize on opportunities to deliver patients better care solutions in order to modernize their organizations. Technology, specifically has opened many doors for patients and providers. Just as consumers in any other industry, patients are able to research medical providers and gain supplementary information through access to online resources. More recently, patients are also able to use technology such as online communication portals, mobile apps, and wearable devices to monitor their conditions more accurately.
Depending on the use case, patients oftentimes benefit from a physician’s willingness to utilize technology such as mobile apps or devices to gather more patient data, connect with patients, and provide better experiences. Along with traditional medical care, integrating data collected by mobile monitoring devices or communication tools aid in developing treatment plans for patients, especially those with chronic conditions.
An example is the use of data gathered by blood-glucose meters that are accompanied by mobile apps. These apps display data on dashboards and generate reports that can be sent to providers to create more informed management plans with minimal manual data compiling. Through the use of these programs, patients can gather their own data and draw conclusions, relating blood-glucose levels to daily activities and diets. Together patients and physicians are able to view and discuss trends to develop more comprehensive care plans, leading to better management and outcomes for patients living with chronic conditions.
One of the greatest factors that contributes to better patient-provider relationships is improved communication and convenience. Unlike patient portals and email, secure mobile messaging provides direct and instant communication with patients in a HIPAA compliant environment. Through patient facing messaging, providers can send patients messages to check in, schedule and confirm appointments. Incorporating this communication channel to healthcare provides patients with added comfort and creates a better patient experience that helps lead to higher retention rates.
Part of providing patients with patient-centered care is using the tools necessary to optimize their satisfaction and overall medical care experiences. Through collaborating with patients, providers will be able to gather better data from both technology and through better communication with patients, contributing to better medical outcomes.