Challenges in Patient-Facility Communication

Undoubtedly, patient interaction stands as a cornerstone in the day-to-day functioning of any healthcare institution. However, the quality of this interaction is paramount. Increasingly, there is a growing acknowledgment of the positive impact that a considerate and empathetic approach in conversations can have, benefiting both the facility and, naturally, the patient. Technology, too, is recognized as a potential solution to some of the communication challenges.

In this post, we delve into analysis of selected communication issues prevalent in medical facilities, offering suggestions for actions to address them.

Hurdles to communication

Presently, the most prevalent reason for canceled visits or the absence of medical service purchases is the challenge patients face in contacting, or even the complete lack of contact with, the medical facility. It's not uncommon for registration staff to intentionally avoid answering calls or neglect returning them, especially if a patient calls during another conversation. A patient unable to connect swiftly with the facility will likely opt for another center where assistance can be obtained more efficiently.

Read also: Six Steps to Improve Medical Registration.

Insufficient information about changes

Keep informing patients about alterations in a doctor's schedule and current delays – it’s crucial. The lack of updated information on the facility's website calendar or mobile application can easily frustrate a patient, particularly if their day and other commitments revolve around a scheduled visit.

Anti-patient attitude

Empathy deficiency, unfulfilled promises, disregard, unclear language, blame-shifting, inducing guilt, and a lack of detailed explanations regarding the diagnostic and therapeutic process—these are just a few instances of unprofessional behavior experienced by patients in medical facilities. If you observe this issue in your facility, initiating a discussion with the staff and prioritizing education for a more patient-centric approach is essential.

The role of technology in enhancing communication

If you perceive challenges within your facility but lack clarity on what precisely needs to change and how, leveraging the opportunities presented by modern technologies is a viable option.

There’s no need to dive deep immediately or invest in complex solutions. Simply contemplate establishing clear communication procedures with patients or enhancing the website for greater transparency. Additionally, regular staff training sessions and updates to service standards are crucial. The management team's success hinges on investing in employee training and providing ongoing motivation to foster trust both externally (patient-facility contact) and internally among staff.

However, if you have the opportunity and inclination to opt for ready-made technological solutions, consider the implementation of a voice bot to assist in returning missed calls or a patient portal.

Download a free case study: Functionalities of the Comarch Concierge Portal.

Interested in understanding how technologies can support various processes in your medical facility? Explore the section on the website dedicated to Comarch's telemedical products, or reach out to our consultant.

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