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Optimizing the Way Healthcare Professionals Communicate with Technology October 17th, 2022

Optimizing the Way Healthcare Professionals Communicate with Technology
The healthcare and IT landscapes are more complex, but the goals for implementing healthcare communication technologies are still connecting people and enabling them to share vital information. 

Effective communication can make or break any relationship, but the importance of good healthcare communication, both with patients and colleagues, cannot be overstated. Every day, healthcare professionals discuss sensitive, complex, and life-changing matters. However, communication can become more challenging in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.  

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift toward communicating via technology, and the IT space is responding to this growing trend. As of 2021, 63 percent of digital health companies were less than five years old, and the global telehealth market is expected to reach US$218.5 billion by 2025.  

Healthcare Provider-Patient Communication Challenges 

Meeting patient expectations is one of digital health solution providers’ most significant challenges. Patients routinely use social media, video conference platforms, and e-commerce websites. Telemedicine platforms that aren’t as easy for them to use will diminish their experiences and their overall satisfaction with care.  

Another prime consideration is data privacy and security. Strict regulations protect healthcare data, and digital health solutions must include features that enable compliance. Access to digital health systems must be strictly controlled, for example, requiring two-factor authentication to ensure only authorized healthcare professionals can use the system. Data must also be protected with encryption so that it isn’t human-readable if intercepted. However, solution providers must remember that the quality of patient experiences is also essential and find the right balance between security and ease of use.  

Challenges with Care Team Communications 

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Care is increasingly collaborative. For example, physicians support home healthcare teams and work with specialty pharmacies, and specialists can provide support to remote clinics. Those communications must be protected just as healthcare provider-patient interactions. But they must also enable efficient workflows so providers can care for as many patients as possible. 

To add value to communication solutions for healthcare providers, TSPs can also enable systems that prioritize calls, helping practitioners quickly determine which messages need immediate attention and which they can address later. 

How The Right Digital Health Solutions Improve Healthcare Communication  

User-friendly, secure telehealth solutions enable a valuable, two-way dialogue with patients of all ages. Digital health solutions leveraging natural language processing (NLP) can capture audio data and convert it to searchable text, helping healthcare practitioners streamline recordkeeping. Digital health systems should also integrate with electronic medical records (EMR) systems, so data is automatically shared and available to other members of care teams.  

Additionally, TSPs can enable healthcare providers to take advantage of all communication channels available, from video conference on a telehealth solution to text, email, messaging, and VoIP. Patients may also have the opportunity to connect with peer networks for information and support.  

TSPs should also be cautious about providing healthcare providers with solutions with more features than necessary. Healthcare providers have limited time, and their priority is always patient care, so technology that adds to their workloads instead of streamlining them will have no value. Focus on helping healthcare providers do more with the time they have to influence patient outcomes positively.  

Consider AB testing pilots to see which solutions and channels are the optimal communication choices –– and don’t overlook physical channels if they prove to be the best means of communication.  

The Goals of Communication Solutions Are Still the Same  

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Although how healthcare providers communicate with their patients and with each other, the problem that solutions must solve is the same. Healthcare communications still need to enable one-to-one connections and dialog, access to people vital to care, and healthcare data security. Although the IT and world health landscape have become more complex, TSPs must still enable the effective communication that healthcare providers and their patients need.  

Listen to your clients and understand their needs and the vision they have for their patients’ journeys. Then provide the healthcare communication technologies that connect care teams, providers, and patients in optimal ways.  

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