How HIPAA-Compliant Live Chat Improves Patient Satisfaction
What can be more important than patient satisfaction? Patient health naturally, but patient satisfaction isn’t all that far behind. For essentially any healthcare organization, patient satisfaction is the backbone of success, yet all too often it’s left on the backburner.
There’s really only one way to improve the happiness and satisfaction of patients – a better experience. But what ultimately entails an ideal patient experience? In today’s digital age, the answer is multi-faceted.
Ultimately, a healthcare organization needs to be digitally-enabled. Offering only one or two methods of communication, namely a phone call or a personal visit, just doesn’t cut it in the 21st century.
96% of Americans expect immediate communication and results from organizations today. Healthcare is no exception, and if anything, should be the rule. Yes, personal health information is of utmost importance and must be properly encrypted and protected, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be accessible. With a HIPAA-compliant software solution, healthcare professionals can provide trusted security, as well as quick communication with patients.
With the right live chat and chat bot solution, organizations can connect patients with their staff, doctors, or to patients’ protected information, without ever compromising security and privacy.
A better patient experience means better care and better options – the patient journey goes far beyond just an office visit.
What can a healthcare organization do to tell patients that they are cared about?
Follow-up with patients after their visit. Sending out a quick HIPAA-compliant message via SMS tells the patient that they are being paid attention to and that their concerns are valid.
Guide patients digitally. Guide patients from one physician to another, whether that’s from surgery to post-op, post-op to follow-up services, and so on, through patients’ most preferred digital conversation channel – text message.
Use chat-enabled bots. With chatbots and automation tools, physicians can guide patients through specific web pages to reach the desired destination. These can be tailored to best fit the ideal patient journey. For example, if a patient is on a post-op-specific page, they can be guided to physical therapy as a next step.
Send proactive chat messages. Patients' concerns can be addressed or inquired about before they reach a tipping point, saving them from potential stress and anxiety. If they’re on a page on a site about symptoms or perhaps insurance coverage, a healthcare professional can send a chat asking about their symptoms or their particular insurance – all while under the protection of HIPAA compliant chat.
Patient trust and loyalty drive retention and growth
Greater retention and growth, upgraded care options, and an improved staff experience are all integral aspects of a HIPAA-compliant chat solution for healthcare.
Effective communication is critical in any physician and patient relationship. Patients should never be cut off from their health. Test follow-ups, prescription refills, scheduling appointments, simple inquiries on personal health — these can all be nigh instantly provided with a HIPAA-compliant software solution.
Typical problems patients express are they feel they aren’t being heard, they aren’t getting an answer, or that they don’t feel like they matter to the healthcare organization. Ultimately, no one wants to feel unimportant.
After all, the second most frequent patient complaint targets communication problems. By nipping communication struggles in the bud and providing peace of mind, patients will reward their physicians with trust and recommend their care to others.
A better patient experience is a better staff experience
Modern healthcare organizations need to meet patients where they are, and that’s not meaning home visits. Using HIPAA-compliant chat and messaging tools, patients can engage with their primary care physicians comfortably and with minimal, if any, added hassle for staff.
By conversing with patients where they are – through their preferred method of communication – healthcare professionals are not only providing a much more relieving patient experience, but they are also decreasing their staff workload.
The healthcare industry experiences one of the most brutal burnout rates. Even before the spread of Covid-19, burnout cost the healthcare industry about $4.6 billion a year. Now can live chat and software for healthcare make people take better care of themselves? No. But can it help healthcare professionals administer more effective treatment processes and utilize automation tools that reduce burnout and provide some much needed relief? Absolutely.
Most healthcare organizations run on antiquated systems from the last century – think incubator waitrooms, snail mail, and frequently stuffed phone lines and voicemail boxes. What live chat for healthcare can do, and is proven to do, is modernize and streamline the patient and staff experience with powerful, digital conversation software.
Building better patient relationships with HIPAA-compliant live chat
Live chat for healthcare goes far beyond just a chat window on a website. Does it include the chat window? Of course. But what if patients want to communicate by text? Great. And what if they also want to schedule appointments through messaging, or access their health information online without having to call in? Perfect. A digital conversation tool enables patients to do things their way.
With the additional possibilities afforded by automation and chatbots, patients can access information without ever requiring assistance, significantly cutting down on workloads for staff and reducing burnout.
In a digitally-enabled healthcare ecosystem, a better patient experience means a better staff experience.
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