Trust Tools-Take Back Your Time with Mobile-Ready Patient Paperwork
How is it possible to increase patient compliance while you protect your limited time on telemedicine? In the following article, Mr. Eckel guides us through some examples with simple solutions to help physicians grow their relationship with their patients.
What would you do to increase patient compliance - without extra phone interruptions to your staff or your own schedule?
I know how important it is to protect your limited time. Because as a kid in the 70s, my father did a remarkable job of protecting and prioritizing time for me and my 4 siblings - in addition to his daily rounds, dictations, charts, and office hours. This photo is of his desk circa 1983.
Fortunately for him, we didn’t have COVID back then.
In today’s health landscape many solo physicians are finding that it’s not enough to go about business as usual. They are realizing that they need to think ahead of the rest. And that kind of creative thinking takes time and energy.
The good news is that in the last 6 months we’ve seen something that never happened before. We’ve seen medical norms change in response to COVID-19.
Much of this change is very good. Because patients are not only flexible about telehealth and technology, many are embracing it because of the convenience and time it saves them. Fortunately, solutions could actually be much simpler than you realize.
In prior articles I talked about how to protect your staff’s time simply by anticipating your top 3 most frequently asked questions, pre-recording them, and “prescribing” them to your patients so you can give them the short version and actually give them a way to partner with you on their own time. In this case, by learning from you in a format that doesn’t monopolize your time.
This month we’re moving beyond verbal conversation to written communication.
Let’s talk patient educational materials - how are yours doing?
Are you happy with them? Are your patients happy?
Would your staff agree? Or are they spending too much time explaining simple things to patients after their visit?
From a customer service viewpoint it’s great to have your staff available to help, but from a reimbursement perspective it might not be so great.
So especially if you’re a solo physician, what could you do to optimize your patient paperwork - especially post visit materials?
Here is what Dr. F. recently found out…
He had been referred to me because not only were his patient materials analog (photocopied), they were taking too much time to explain to patients. His materials needed to be reinvented to not only save time for patients, but to become available to the patient - anywhere, anytime, without any phone calls.
Here are a few things my team did for him:
1. We digitized his materials
2. We simplified the patient checklist
3. We summarized the checklist into DOs and DONTs
4. We recorded a short sit-down walk through video
5. We made it mobile-ready by adding SMS/Text-by-number access
6. We added hyperlinks to the explainer video
7. We made it enjoyable by printing in color and adding a few well-picked emoji instead of bullets
There’s no reason you couldn’t do any or all of these things for your patients too.
This is just one of several tools in the “Trust Toolbox” that strengthen your ability to serve your patients. And as you involve your patient, you change the dynamic of your relationship.
The effect of this is to help your patients choose a healthier lifestyle and partner with you in walking that out.
Whether you are a family doctor, a pediatrician, a surgeon or an interventional cardiologist you can have an impact. You can help patients proactively choose healthy actions that elevate their lifestyles - and save time.
Perhaps your creativity got sparked just by reading this anecdote. What did I miss? I’d love to add your favorite patient materials for next time.
For an early look at how to implement this, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.