Needed: Better physician-to-patient communication

by Ancil Lea ([email protected]) 249 views 

Editor’s note: Ancil Lea has worked with more than 1,500 physicians, clinics, out-patient surgery centers, and hospitals to help with everything from medical software to healthcare marketing for nearly 30 years. He is the former coordinator for the Arkansas Office of Health Information Technology.

Opinions, commentary and other essays posted in this space are wholly the view of the author(s). They may not represent the opinion of the owners of Talk Business & Politics.

My memory and recall isn’t as good as it once was, and I’m just a young 50-ish year old. I have to dig pretty good sometimes in the gray matter to remember valuable information that’s been given to me. I’m not sure that’s a sign of age or paying attention, or both. Probably both.

So when I go to see one of my many physicians for an evaluation of my health issues, I sometimes don’t come back with all the information I need to relay to my family that would help in their understanding or helping care for me.

Most importantly, if you’re helping care for an older parent(s) or loved one, it’s hard to get the information back from them that you need. Then try to go find it by tracking the physician or nurse down at their office and getting put into “on-hold hell” when you call down to the clinic or hospital to retrieve this information.

One thing I believe can help this situation is the use of video with the patient and their family.

With the healthcare landscape having been altered dramatically in recent years by changes in the law and changes in the way people consume information, patient-centered communication has become a critical part of a physician’s practice, the healthcare industry and a crucial part of the reimbursement process. Perhaps as important, patient-centered education allows for the patient to better understand their health and make informed decisions about their healthcare.

The explosive growth of smartphones and tablets has personalized media and influenced how people receive and perceive information. So what are you doing today to communicate with and educate your patients?

The use of video for patient-centered communication is proving to be an effective and productive way to educate your patients. Medical studies have shown that the use of video can increase knowledge recall up to 16 times that of the spoken or written word.

A patient-centered video strategy can increase your throughput revenue and improve operational efficiency. Some healthcare providers have seen an increased number of patients with the use of just two informational videos used in the patient treatment process. If you think about how you repeat the same things over and over, it makes smart business sense to automate these areas.

The videos can be posted in the patient portal too, and the patient may view this information at any time by themselves, or with their loved ones. But, it’s always available.

So, in 2016 as you assess areas of your practice that could use some “work flow” help, consider video and the use of this media as a way to not only care for your patients, but increase revenue.