Patient Referrals: How Automated Messaging Can Improve Adherence
When it comes time to refer your patients to other specialists, especially those in your network, you want to ensure that they still receive high-quality care once they leave yours. However, there are many issues a patient may run into before they make it to the specialist’s office. Let’s discuss what those issues may be and how introducing automated messaging can improve their overall experience.
Issues With Patient Referrals
There are many problems that your patients may run into when it comes time to send them over to a specialist. One of the biggest issues is patient adherence. The physician may face challenges in ensuring that the patient follows through with the referral. The patient may be reluctant to see a specialist, or may not have the time or resources to do so.
To ensure a patient follows up with a referral, it’s critical that you explain to the patient the importance of following up with the referral. Emphasize the benefits of seeing a specialist and the potential risks of not doing so.
In some cases, time is of the essence when referring a patient to a specialist. The physician may need to expedite the referral process to ensure that the patient receives prompt care and prevent the progression of their condition. Some conditions, such as cancer or heart disease, require early detection and prompt treatment for better outcomes. Referrals to specialists can help diagnose and treat these conditions in their early stages, which may be crucial in preventing their progression. In addition, early intervention and treatment of medical conditions can reduce the need for more complex and costly treatments in the future. For example, catching a cancer diagnosis early can lead to a simpler and less expensive treatment plan, while allowing it to progress may require more extensive and costly treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy.
Good communication between the referring physician, the patient and the specialists is critical to ensure that the patient receives appropriate care. The physician must ensure that the specialist has all relevant information about the patient’s medical history and current condition because a lack of communication between the referring physician and the specialist can lead to suboptimal care and outcomes for the patient.
How you handle patient interaction once they are no longer in your care is critical. When it comes time to move from one doctor to another, it’s important for everyone to stay in the loop. Unfortunately, this transfer can sometimes lead to misinformation or lack of communication with the patient.
When a patient leaves your facility, you want to be sure that they understand the next steps for their care. While there are many actions you can take to ensure this, iincluding sending out post-discharge surveys, when a patient referral is involved, using automated messaging is one of the the best courses of action.
The Benefits of Using Automated Messaging with Patient Referrals
When patients receive timely referrals to specialists, they are more likely to be satisfied with their care. They will feel that their health concerns are being taken seriously and that their healthcare providers are working together to ensure they receive the best possible care. Automated messaging can fill in many gaps at your facility. It can provide patients with care instructions, and appointment reminders and prompt them to fill out information or surveys before or after their visit.
Another benefit of automated messaging is how it allows you to lead patient referrals and keep open communication between your facility, the patient, and the specialist. By utilizing a secure messaging feature, you can share details with the patient about who they need to follow up with after they leave your facility, and ask questions about that follow-up care. You can also take this opportunity to provide a seamless transition from your facility to the specialists by prompting the patient to fill out the necessary information that is shared with the new specialist.
By referring patients to specialists in your own network, you can also use Notivate Health’s easy and affordable platform to share communications beyond your facility. Using EHR-integrated technology, you’re able to share important patient information with other healthcare providers quickly, always ensuring that your patient’s information is passed on securely and that the new specialist is up-to-date with the patient’s needs.
The Importance of Communication
Communicating with your patients should be a top priority. Good communication is the only way to ensure that the patient receives the information they need about their health and that there aren’t any gaps or problems moving forward. It also ensures that moving from provider to provider is a smooth transition and nothing about the patient’s history or their ability to reach the new specialist is left out.
According to a study shared at the AMIA Annual Symposium, it was shown how beneficial implementing an electronic messaging system is to share information with patient referrals.
They explain that the results from their study were overall positive regardless of outside factors such as an additional workload or hardware issues.
Overall, using automated messaging with your patient referrals can improve how your facility handles these interactions as well as your overall patient interactions. The issues that come from transferring patients from one provider to another become lessened by using this type of technology.
If you would like to learn more about Notivate Health and how our platform can improve patient care, request a demo today.