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Supply chain issues on the rise - Maintaining seamless patient communications in a paperless world

February 14, 2022
Health IT
From the March 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Data shows that two of providers’ top priorities this year are to run a more efficient practice and to increase patient satisfaction, which can improve profitability. Moving to paperless solutions can help achieve both goals. Luckily, there is technology that can make this transition simpler while optimizing communications in an increasingly digital world.

How to optimize communications in a paperless world
Maintaining seamless patient communications in an increasingly paperless world can seem daunting at first, but there are simple steps that practices can take to enhance patient communications while possibly improving productivity and the practice’s bottom line - and reducing reliance on paper.

These steps don’t all need to happen at once, either. Taking a slow and steady approach to implementing a paperless practice will ensure long-term success.

Ditch the forms: Digitizing the patient intake process and documents, such as consent forms and check-in, is one of the first, and most important, steps in converting to a paperless practice. Utilizing tools such as electronic forms and electronic fax cuts down on manual paperwork and data entry, saving time and money while also meeting patient expectations.

Make virtual care a priority: Many providers adopted telehealth at the start of COVID-19 and it is clear this technology is not going anywhere. In fact, 41% of patients expect their healthcare provider to offer telehealth appointment options going forward. A comprehensive telehealth strategy includes both a self-service solution that allows patients to meet with a provider whom they may or may not have a relationship with - which is ideal for round-the-clock urgent care or consults with specialists - as well as connect with their own trusted providers. Independent providers can benefit from using a single platform that enables them to connect virtually with their patients and supplement with contracted telehealth providers as needed. Implementing a holistic virtual care strategy also includes all the ways a provider can interact with patients - such as video chat, secure texting and SMS - which supports an engaging virtual care experience and is complementary to a paperless practice.

Streamline patient communications: Creating a “digital front door” enables patients to more directly interact with their provider, improving patient engagement and office productivity. Utilizing technology such as patient reminders give providers the ability to efficiently and conveniently communicate with patients.

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