“Social Distancing” and “Stay Quarantine” are the two slogans widely spreading all over the world to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a pandemic, digital health is stepping up as a core technology for safe and seamless communication between patients and caregivers. The health professionals are working round the clock to ensure the safety of their patients.
Why are patient engagement strategies crucial?
- Patient communication helps prevent spread of virus within communities
- Provides better patient results and healthcare system stability
- It comes with a great confidence and provide reassurance to communities
Best practices for patient communication & prevention during COVID 19
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to devastate everything from human lives to the economy, here are some practices that need to be followed by the non-profit organizations, government, and other social firms to deliver the patients the right information from all trusted sources.
Combat misinformation about the virus and share facts from reputable sources
The world is experiencing an unprecedented healthcare crisis. There is a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 that is widespread on the internet. The World Health Organization (WHO) has referred to the misinformation about the virus as “infodemic”.
Proactive SMS, voice and email notifications enable business enterprises to showcase correct and latest information based on trusted sources of public health. As a customer-centric business enterprise, it should be your prime concern to deliver the right information into the hands of the people who need it most and also help to clear the fog of unfiltered social media speculation.
Reputable sources like the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Medical Association (AMA) should be taken into consideration while transmitting the information.
Reach a larger group of people by using preferred communication channels
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a sense of panic and chaos in the entire world.
The patients at every corner do not use the same communication channel. For example, some consumers prefer using SMS while others like emails, and making phone calls.
It’s a good practice to ask your users and community what channels they prefer to access the information.
The technology for communication should be used to drive up customer satisfaction, and the same can be used to grow the number of people you can serve.
Use Google Posts to share information that allows you to share messages on your Google My Business profile. It will make it easy for prospective patients seeking care to quickly determine whether your practice can meet their needs.
Minimize public health hotline backlogs and wait times
Nobody wants to wait for answers to questions related to health issues, especially in such a critical situation. Presently, there is a lot of conflicting and wrong information circulating the internet about COVID-19.
The commonly asked questions are like,” How do I keep my family safe?”or “What are the symptoms of the virus?” These questions receive auto generated answers.
To eliminate this, the most efficient organizations use Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Chatbots, and Artificial Intelligence to understand if an inbound request should receive an automated response. In fact, this would be one of the hottest digital health trends in 2020
More specific or complicated conversations typically need the physical presence of a human with specialized training. For instance, your company may need to transform a call to video to remotely screen patients who self-identify as showing symptoms of the virus.
Delivering the right information in the hands of citizens faster and more efficiently requires automated Chatbots and other self-service capabilities. Only the complex request should be handled by the specialists.
Automate patient appointment reminders and scheduling
The most effective way to treat people who need regular medical assistance is to lessen the burden of managing appointments. Organizations should use technology to lower operational expenses by automating this process.
For this, you can set up reminders via email, text, and /or voice to ensure there should be no delays in making appointment slots and those which are cancelled can be offered to others. Scheduling appointments should be done in no time.
Proactively engage with high-risk patients
Proactively engage with high-risk patients using multi-channels and identified using digital data. An outreach strategy is created that keeps them informed about the valuable steps in long term steps during the pandemic. The messages can be automated to inform individuals about the best steps to take to minimize the risk of infection.
In the COVID-19 situation, clear and accurate communication proved to be the true foundations of effective operation, treatments, and patient care.
Communication with patients during COVID-19 plays a vital role in understanding how organizations provide public health information by keeping all the facts and figures trusted and updated.
The best thing we can do to help people is to share best practices for using technology to deliver critical messages. Digital tools and on-demand infrastructure can help organizations to deliver the fast and correct information to the right person at the right time.