It’s no secret that modern technology has a lasting impact in the medical field. It plays a crucial role by improving the accuracy and efficiency of diagnoses, treatments, and overall patient care. For example, advances in imaging technology allow for more detailed and accurate diagnoses of various medical conditions. Electronic health records (EHRs) and telemedicine have also greatly improved the ability for healthcare providers to access and share patient information, leading to better coordination of care. Additionally, technology such as robotics and automation have led to less invasive surgical procedures with faster recovery times.
But what about communication? Effective communication is essential in the medical field as it is the foundation for building trust, understanding, and effective collaboration between patients, healthcare providers, and other medical professionals.
- Clear and accurate communication between healthcare providers is critical for ensuring that patients receive accurate diagnoses, appropriate treatment plans, and optimal care.
- Effective communication with patients is also essential for building trust, addressing concerns and questions, and ensuring they understand their condition and treatment plan.
- In addition, effective communication is also important in preventing medical errors, because it allows for all members of the healthcare team to be informed and aware of the patient’s needs and status.
- Furthermore, effective communication among different healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, is important for coordinating care and avoiding confusion or miscommunication.
Is your medical practice interested in modernizing communication? Click here to learn more about adding Clerk Chat to Slack or Microsoft Teams.
Technologies for Improving Communication in the Medical Field
There are a variety of technologies used for communication in the medical field. Some examples include:
- Electronic Health Records (EHRs): EHRs are digital versions of a patient’s paper chart, allowing for easy sharing and updating of information between healthcare providers, which can lead to better coordination of care.
- Telemedicine: Telemedicine allows for remote consultations between patients and healthcare providers through the use of video conferencing or other remote communication methods.
- Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS): CDSS are computerized systems that provide healthcare professionals with relevant and up-to-date information to support decision-making and improve patient care.
- Secure messaging platforms: This technology allows healthcare providers to communicate with each other and patients in a secure, efficient, and effective manner.
- Alert and Notification Systems: These systems are designed to alert healthcare professionals of critical patient information, such as changes in vital signs, and can be integrated with other technologies such as EHRs, telemedicine, and clinical decision support systems.
These technologies help improve communication in the medical field by allowing for easy and secure sharing of information, remote consultations, and real-time alerts and notifications.
Meet Cardinal Pediatrics
Communication in medical practices can often be a challenge, especially for those with multiple locations. However, it is a key component of success for healthcare offices.
Thankfully, modern technology offers many tools that have made it easier to connect with both patients and staff members in ways that were not possible before, making communication much more efficient.
Cardinal Pediatrics is one example of an innovative medical practice based out of West Virginia. In 2006, Drs. Lisa McBride and Patti Malone formed a caring practice, with an emphasis on efficiency. It has since expanded to a total of 7 clinics with additional providers. They have set the bar high for a model of patient-practice relationships and continue to foster that expectation.
How Cardinal Pediatrics Streamlines Communication
With the introduction of digital tools such as texting services, large medical practices, like Cardinal Pediatrics have seen major improvements in how they communicate. Since it is important for the office to have easily accessible communication, they chose Clerk to enable SMS through Microsoft Teams. With a number of doctors, staff, and services, they needed an easy way to keep in touch with patients and their family, while remaining organized. Since patient families are familiar with the phone number, and likely have it saved as a contact in their phones, adding the ability to text only made it simpler for patients to be able to contact the practice and vice versa.
6 Examples of How Cardinal Pediatrics Uses Clerk with Microsoft Teams
- They regularly run reports for patients that haven’t scheduled well-visits or required follow-ups. They use this data to text a reminder.
- The ease of importing a spreadsheet, adding a template, and sending out a payment reminder saves a lot of time that otherwise may have been spent leaving voicemails or having lengthy, unnecessary phone calls.
- Response rate is higher, leading to more scheduled appointments and bills being paid regularly.
- The freedom to schedule an out-of-office message has been crucial and beneficial, so that patient families always receive a response to their text, even during holidays. In the case of Cardinal Pediatrics, their message points the patient to the website to self-schedule or find additional resources, and they let the patient know when they will receive a reply.
- Texting is an easy way for someone to send in a question when they are unable to make a phone call.
- Although they try to promote the idea of patients staying with the same provider, there are times, like sick visits, where other providers are available to assist.
A Cardinal Pediatrics Favorite Feature
Discovering the ability to customize communication using templates with Clerk has been a game changer for Cardinal Pediatrics. For those unfamiliar, a template is a pre-written message with placeholders that you can customize with your own information. Clerk makes it simple to create a new template. Once you create one, it can be saved and used again.
Cardinal Pediatrics has used templates for billing, sending out negative lab results, checking on a patient’s referral status, rescheduling alerts when a provider is unexpectedly out, and scheduling future appointments, just to name a few.
Since patients at Cardinal Pediatrics are accustomed to receiving messages from the practice, they always know they can text the practice to schedule or change appointments, ask provider or billing questions, or, at times, send an image of a completed form.
“At the end of the day we want to work smarter, not harder. Clerk helps us accomplish that goal.
Enabling SMS with Clerk and Microsoft Teams
Clerk easily connects to your existing number, or you can choose a new one, to enable business text messaging inside of Microsoft Teams. This is a major game-changer, if, like most of us, you have too many windows open at once. The Clerk & Teams integration streamlines your communication, all inside one platform. Cardinal Pediatrics chose Clerk because of its features, customer support, and competitive pricing.
Once you download and install Clerk, it’s very easy to get up and running. You’ll be able to send out reminders, create schedules, and communicate securely, all inside of Microsoft Teams. Clerk has made it easy for the Cardinal Pediatrics’ patients and staff to stay efficient and organized.
Tips for Using SMS Within a Medical Practice
Texting offers numerous advantages for doctor’s offices.
- SMS allows for quick communication between multiple parties. Texting can be sent and received from multiple devices whether it be a phone, tablet, or computer. This real-time communication is delivered and received in seconds, making it particularly useful for coordinating or communicating back-and-forth.
- Texting provides a quick and easy way to send out reminders about upcoming appointments or medications. Messages are sent instantly and patients can conveniently confirm or cancel appointments with a simple “yes” or “no,” saving time and improving scheduling efficiency.
- SMS can provide secure communication, depending on the app. Some messaging platforms use two-factor authentication, which, for example, may require a user to provide a code sent via text in addition to a password.
- Texting can be reliable for delivering certain test results or health advice in applicable situations and within guidelines. A secure messaging platform that allows for messages to go directly to a patient’s mobile phone, provides the patient with information quickly and easily.
- Using SMS creates an organized workflow and provides ways to stay connected. It allows for quick and efficient communication between office staff and is a fast way to share information while keeping track of progress.
- Some medical practices create group chats for constant communication and updates. Team members can ask questions or provide feedback in real-time.
- Additionally providers and staff (remote or in-office) can schedule meetings or calls, confirm details, and save time without a long email or phone call.
Ultimately, texting via Clerk and Microsoft Teams offers a very important benefit for any medical practice: timely communications. As opposed to email or phone calls, text messages are often responded to almost immediately and save time for both patients and staff. When used strategically, texting technology can help increase efficiency within any medical practice while providing an improved experience for both physicians and patients.
Already using Microsoft Teams and curious about SMS? Click here for a sneak peak.