How AC Health Saves You Time with Electronic Communication
Healthcare providers of all types often bemoan the increasing burden of managing electronic health records and virtual communications. However, the reality of modern healthcare necessitates the use of electronic documentation and communications.
The days of phone calls and limited patient-provider communication are fast disappearing. Both patients and providers are embracing electronic messaging as an effective tool to improve health outcomes and satisfaction, but this mode of communication comes with its own challenges.
As a modern clinician, it’s critical to understand why a robust electronic messaging system matters to your practice, and why standard email platforms are neither appropriate nor efficient for this purpose. Let’s learn how AC Health can help you improve your electronic communication with patients while saving you time and energy.
Electronic Messaging Matters
Since the early 2000s, the Institute of Medicine has called electronic patient-provider communication “a core functionality of an electronic health record”, and with good reason. The advantages of a robust electronic messaging system are numerous and critical in the modern healthcare environment.
If you aren’t already communicating electronically with your patients, the following list of benefits should provide sufficient evidence to convince you that it is time to make the change.
Electronic patient-provider messaging:
- Is desired by both patients and providers
While the early implementation of electronic health records and communications was met the provider skepticism, both are now a fact of life for modern clinicians in all fields.
Research from the turn of the century showed increasing interest in electronic health communications, with both providers and patients desiring efficient methods to connect virtually.
Global internet use has grown exponentially in the intervening years, and the ubiquity of smartphones means patients are more connected than ever. Patient interest in virtual health communications and technology will only continue to grow, and providers must prepare to meet these demands.
- Can increase patient satisfaction
Patient satisfaction is a hot topic in healthcare these days, and savvy clinics are constantly searching for ways to improve their satisfaction and loyalty scores. Patients report high satisfaction rates when they have electronic means to communicate with their providers.
Increased satisfaction may improve patient retention in the long term, making e-communication another valuable tool in the constant fight to maintain patient loyalty.
- Improves patient understanding of their condition
Clinicians provide substantial amounts of education with patients at each visit, but patients often struggle to retain this information, particularly if it is only delivered verbally.
Written electronic communication can help reinforce important information about a patient’s condition and the methods of addressing it. When patients with chronic conditions are able to communicate asynchronously with their providers, they demonstrate increased knowledge of their conditions, improved psychosocial status, and decreased healthcare utilization.
- Is cost-effective
Cost savings is a constant concern for all stakeholders in the healthcare sphere. Electronic health communications are cost effective for payers: asynchronous patient communications allow providers to address simple questions and concerns virtually, saving both patient and payer the expense of an office visit.
For providers, this can free up space and time for new patients or those with more acute concerns. This allows each provider to effectively manage more patients, thereby increasing reimbursements that improve the bottom line.
- Can improve provider productivity
As internet access became ubiquitous at the turn of the century and patients began requesting electronic access to their providers, clinicians were initially wary. There were concerns that an onslaught of patient messages would negatively impact provider productivity and reimbursement rates.
However, analyses of secure communication platforms found that rather than impairing provider productivity, electronic medical messaging actually improved it by 10%. Regular electronic communication can be an efficient tool to improve the experience of patients and providers alike. So how can you start using it effectively in your rehabilitation practice?
Email is Not the Answer
As we’ve seen, the advantages of electronic patient communication are numerous and diverse. However, if you’re still using email to stay in touch with your patients, you’re likely missing out on many potential benefits.
While email may seem an obvious and straightforward method for communicating with patients, it is not well suited for the healthcare sphere. HIPAA compliance is an obvious concern for all healthcare providers, and most popular email platforms are neither secure nor HIPAA-compliant.
It’s also difficult to ensure that email communications with patients interface smoothly with their medical records. In addition to drafting and sending email replies, clinicians must take the extra step of copying email content into their electronic health record (EHR), which is often a slow, multi-step process.
Email chains can become long and convoluted, making it easy for providers to miss or lose messages from patients, and vice versa. Modern healthcare providers need easy, secure, streamlined tools to ensure that their electronic communications with patients are clear and efficient.
AC Health Can Help
As a rehab professional, you may already be using email for a number of patient communications. You know that verbal instructions are often insufficient to ensure patient adherence to their home programs: perhaps you send your patients emails with saved PDFs made with online HEP generators.
You know you’re probably wasting time and energy, and you’re worried about patient privacy, but you’re not sure what your alternatives are. AC Health is here to help! The fully HIPAA-compliant app allows you to:
- Eliminate HEP emails.
The AC Health app is designed to replace all the other HEP websites and generators you’ve been using previously. Your custom videos and instructions are saved in your provider portal and sent directly to your patient’s phone – no emailing required. Your patients’ phones follow them everywhere, so now their HEPs will, too!
- Integrate seamlessly with EHR.
You can access AC Health easily on both your phone and computer: if you create a video in the app on your phone during a treatment season, it is automatically uploaded into the online portal.
From the AC Health portal on your web browser, one click copies your patient’s entire home program for instant inclusion in the electronic health record. Stop wasting time typing descriptions of YouTube videos or searching your email for the exact instructions you sent your patient.
- Message quickly and securely.
The AC Health app includes a private, HIPAA-compliant messaging platform in which you can communicate quickly and easily with patients between visits. You can send text, photo, or video messages through the app. This messaging helps you encourage patient adherence and answer questions about their home program activities.
All communications with each patient are kept in their unique profile in the app, so you never have to worry about missing a message or losing track of an email chain. Save time and ensure privacy by eliminating email messaging from your practice.
Ready to learn more about how AC Health can help you modernize your messaging game? Sign up for your free 30 day trial today to discover a world without patient emails!