Communication is a two-way street. It’s crucial for patients and staff of ambulatory surgery centers, ensuring positive outcomes. Efficient and effective patient communication can be challenging to establish with some patients, who may be resistant to talking about medical problems or feel uncomfortable with ASC staff. Patients may also be worried or fearful, which can shut down communication. There are ways to improve patient communication with a few simple adjustments in your ASC routines.
Automate Reminders and Instructions
It’s easy for phone calls such as appointment reminders to fall through the cracks when your office gets busy. Our Engage solution offers automated patient communication tools to make sure every patient receives appropriate reminders and instructions for pre-op and post-op care. You can tailor these to specific procedures, physicians, and patients for a personal touch that encourages patients to see the ASC team as their own medical staff.
Using reminders through text messages and emails makes it easier for patients to respond to confirm or change appointments. You’ll see a dramatic increase in responses when using automated reminders featuring quick and easy response options. Engage offers several ways to send out reminders and instructions to maximize patient communication and improve response rates.
Put Patients at Ease
This sounds obvious, but it’s easy to rush through patient appointments and stop seeing them as individuals. Look past the symptoms; take the time to address each patient by name, ask about how they are, and talk to them as equals. Talk to them rather than at them. Give them a chance to respond to what you say and ask questions. Too often, ASC staff interrupt patients or try to put words in their mouths in an effort to move things along. Many patients shut down communication when this happens. Research shows that taking a few extra minutes and not rushing through patient conversations results in patients being more willing to detail symptoms, voice concerns, and follow directions.
Educate Your Patients
Knowledge is a powerful incentive to become involved. Educating ASC patients regarding their conditions, treatment options, and self-care leads to more patient involvement and a willingness to convey vital information.
Have a stock of brochures in an area of your facility set aside as a patient information center. Books, videos, and pamphlets patients can take or borrow are an excellent way to empower your patients. Many patients have questions they don’t think about until after they’ve left your ASC. By providing educational materials to take home, you communicate with them even after they've left the ASC. They can also share these materials with loved ones, keeping more people in the loop regarding the patient’s condition.
Engage Video provides patients with on-demand videos outlining surgical instructions and educational materials. ASC staff can provide more detailed information before, during, and after appointments without tying up employees and office visits.
Follow Up After the Fact
We can help you create questionnaires and surveys to make it easy for patients to provide crucial information all in one place. These can be used for pre-op and post-op care, ensuring more complete medical records and preventing information from falling through the cracks. Getting input from patients after ASC procedures can give you valuable feedback on how to improve patient communication. Ask questions about their satisfaction and what they would change for better communication.
Technology offers a multitude of ways to improve patient communication. Our suite of solutions makes it easier than ever to ensure every patient supplies the information your ASC needs, resulting in patients feeling heard and involved in their care.
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