How healthcare providers can improve patient communication: an overview including use cases

In today's digital age, consumers expect seamless and flexible communication with businesses, including healthcare providers and their patients. Whether it is a public healthcare provider or a private practice, every healthcare facility aims to improve patient satisfaction, reduce administrative costs, and improve outcomes. Communication with patients in the healthcare sector in the Nordics is typically done through a variety of channels, including in-person visits, phone calls, physical letters, emails, and online messaging through 1177, SMS and more.

Patient communication in Sweden: How 1177 Vårdguiden and in-app messaging are changing healthcare delivery

It's important to note that healthcare communication channels and systems may differ from country to country. In Sweden, for example, the regions are responsible for healthcare delivery and have their own booking systems and communication channels for patients. Here's how patient communication works in Sweden with 1177 Vårdguiden and in-app messaging.

1177 Vårdguiden is an online platform and a valuable tool for patient communication. By providing patients with information and advice on self-care, 1177 can help prevent unnecessary visits to healthcare facilities and reduce the workload for healthcare providers. The in-app messaging function is a new way for patients to communicate with healthcare providers in Sweden.

By allowing patients to communicate with healthcare providers digitally, in-app messaging can help to free up resources and reduce waiting times for appointments and consultations. Patients can ask questions and receive real-time advice without needing to call or visit a healthcare facility.

Overall, the introduction of in-app messaging is seen as a positive step for patient communication. 1177 Vårdguiden is linked to the Swedish BankID, which provides an additional layer of security and encryption for patients' personal and medical information. When patients log in to 1177 Vårdguiden using their BankID credentials, their identity is verified, and their connection to the platform is encrypted, ensuring that their data is protected from unauthorised access or interception. As healthcare providers in Sweden continue to embrace new technologies and communication channels, in-app messaging will likely become an increasingly important part of the patient journey and overall healthcare delivery.

Personalised patient communication: the role of SMS in healthcare

However, the rise of new communication channels increases channel complexity. Email, SMS, and newer OTT channels like WhatsApp all have their benefits and drawbacks, and healthcare providers should consider the needs and preferences of their patients when deciding which channels to use. By offering multiple communication channels, healthcare providers can provide a more personalised and seamless patient experience, improving patient engagement and satisfaction.  

SMS messaging is a quick and easy way to communicate with patients and can be used for appointment reminders, follow-up messages etc. Messaging channels allow healthcare providers to communicate with patients in real time, making it easier to respond to their needs and concerns. This not only improves patient satisfaction but also helps to reduce administrative costs by streamlining communication and eliminating the need for time-consuming phone calls or face-to-face interactions. SMS is particularly effective for time-sensitive communication, as patients are likely to read and respond to SMS messages quickly, while e-mails might be unread in the inbox or end up in the spam filter.

The benefits of SMS in daily healthcare operations

In today's fast-paced world, healthcare providers are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to streamline their daily operations and enhance patient care. One such method is the use of SMS. By leveraging SMS technology, healthcare providers can communicate with their patients in real time, facilitate appointment scheduling, and send appointment reminders, all while saving time and reducing administrative workload. We have listed some key use cases for smart messaging in daily healthcare operations:

  1. SMS appointments: to facilitate doctors' appointments or telemedicine appointments. This can be done to allow patients to communicate with healthcare providers in real time, improving access to care and reducing the need for in-person visits.

  2. SMS appointment reminders: reduces the number of no-shows and saves administrative staff time and effort in managing appointments.

  3. Post-visit follow-up: to check if the patient is feeling better, to provide additional information about their condition, or to schedule a follow-up visit. This improves patient satisfaction and helps to reduce readmissions.

  4. Medication reminders by SMS: to help patients stay on track with their medication regimen, improving outcomes and reducing the risk of complications.

  5. SMS test results: to deliver test results to patients. This can be done in a secure and timely manner, improving patient satisfaction and reducing the need for follow-up calls.

  6. Thank you SMS: to thank blood donors and other volunteers for their contribution. 

  7. Patient surveys and NPS by SMS: to improve patient experience, identify areas for improvement, and enhance communication with patients.

  8. Educational SMS: to deliver health education information to patients. To disseminate treatment options and self-care techniques to improve outcomes and reduce the risk of complications.

In conclusion, while 1177 Vårdguiden and in-app messaging are excellent channels for patient communication, healthcare providers should also consider the needs and preferences of their patients when deciding which channels to use and for time-sensitive messages in particular. By using multiple communication channels, healthcare providers can offer personalised and seamless patient experiences, leading to improved engagement and satisfaction. Ultimately, healthcare providers must embrace new communication channels to enhance patient satisfaction and operational efficiency.

LEKAB provides mobile messaging services, messaging APIs and software for advanced messaging and process automation. We offer digital tools and solutions to companies that want to optimise how they communicate and interact with customers and employees on the mobile to improve productivity, availability and the customer experience through mobile channels. Do you want to know more or ask us for advice? Contact Us!

I want to know more