Personalization matters. People return to the places where they feel comfortable and recognized—whether it’s a coffee shop, a grocery store, a bank or a doctor’s office. For healthcare, patient engagement is therefore top of mind for many facilities as they try to differentiate their business, deliver superior patient care and drive costs for their business down. It has been noted that when patients actually feel part of the decision-making process about their health, the outcomes improve and costs associated with care go down.

One simple way for healthcare providers to effectively engage patients is through enterprise grade secure messaging platforms that also provide automated engagement capabilities. In today’s world, more and more people are turning to messaging first on their phone. In fact, 99% of text messages are opened and 90% of them are read within three minutes of receipt. But text messaging, which is not HIPAA compliant, remains limited in terms of how healthcare providers can communicate with patients. Secure messaging platforms like Vaporstream are HIPAA compliant and allow healthcare providers to share personal information with patients without having to worry about information being compromised. Below are 5 ways that secure messaging can be used to engage patients to improve the patient experience and health outcomes.

1. Improve appointment attendance through detailed reminders.


Missed appointments are expensive for healthcare providers, costing the American health system about $150 billion a year. But one recent study found that messaging goes a long way in improving appointment attendance. Only 4.4% of patients who got a text reminder from their provider missed their appointment, compared to 10% of patients who didn’t. And phone calls don’t do much—9.4% of patients who received a phone call still missed their appointment. Messaging is definitely the trend and preferred communication channel for many. Vaporstream messages can also include detailed, HIPAA compliant information to help keep patients in sync with their care plan and purpose of each visit.

2. Improve health outcomes by providing patients with helpful follow up information.


Seeing a doctor can be overwhelming for a patient. In conversations with healthcare practitioners, patients tend to focus on information about their diagnosis and forget what they’re told about treatment. And the more information provided to the patient, the less they tend to remember—with estimates that patients on average only retain between 10-25% of the information shared by a physician and one study finding that almost half the information the patients actually remember is incorrect. One way to remedy this is to provide the patients with this information—but not through a sheet they’ll shove in their bag or misplace or through a portal that’s tedious to log-in to but through something simple and easy—messages that they can access on their phone. Vaporstream can provide detailed, real-time and secure information to remind patients of information right when they need it. This helps the patient feel more in control and empowered verses overwhelmed, increasing patient adherence to their care plan and loyalty to their practice.

3. Assist patients with medication adherence by sending them reminders.


Text messaging interventions are proven to improve patients’ medication adherence rates. Given that patients have a lot on their plates in terms of their daily lives, it’s extremely helpful for healthcare providers to set up automated messaging to remind patients to take their medications. In the case of chronic care management, automated reminders can help patients keep medication and dosage changes correct – which can be game changing for patients and care givers trying to manage multiple diseases.

4. Build strong relationships with patients by being accessible through messaging.


For many patients, having an ongoing relationship with their healthcare provider can be critical. If they have a question they need answered or a concern, being able to contact them at the touch of their fingers is a huge convenience. And for healthcare providers, being accessible while able to control the workflow of how messages are handled is just as important. Healthcare providers can respond quickly and efficiently —without having to provide individual’s contact information unless desired.

5. Support patients’ healthy life styles by providing them with relevant information.

Texting programs for education and motivation work. They have been found to be successful in addressing weight loss, physical activity, smoking cessation, and diabetes self-management. Healthcare providers can leverage secure messaging to help patients address health issues that are relevant to them—sending them helpful information, reminders and simply letting them know that they care—to help improve health outcomes of their patients.

To learn more about how Vaporstream can help your healthcare organization leverage secure messaging to engage patients to improve the patient experience and deliver more positive health outcomes contact us or schedule a demo today.

Contributor: The Vaporstream Team