As a healthcare provider, you have a unique vantage point in the new trends and developments that are constantly being made in your specialty. And since you are the expert in your field, you might as well share your knowledge, right? Sharing your expertise with your patients can not only improve patient outcomes, but can build a loyal patient base, which increases your bottom line. It’s a win for everybody!
When a patient starts to feel sick, the first thing they do isn’t calling their doctor. For almost three-quarters of your patients, the first ‘person’ they consult is usually Dr. Google. While an internet search can produce accurate results, there is a high probability that your patients may Google their symptoms and come to an incorrect self-diagnosis. New research and developments in healthcare mean patients can easily mistake incorrect or outdated information as fact. They can search their symptoms online and decide their condition is more dire than it actually is, and seek emergency care when a visit to your office could have provided the treatment they needed. Or even worse, a patient could have a condition that needs medical attention, but a search of their symptoms leads them to incorrectly conclude they will get better without your care. This could cause a worsening of symptoms before a patient decides they need to see their provider.
Neither situation is ideal, but what can healthcare providers do about it? Since your patients are already going to be searching for information online, you might as well make sure they have correct information by delivering it right to their email inbox. You can send a regular cadence of educational content to your patients to ensure they are getting correct, up-to-date information straight from you. With patient communication software, you can even divide your patients into groups based on their age, gender, or diagnosis so you can target each piece of content you send to the patients who will find it relevant. When patients have the correct information at their disposal they are likely to have better health outcomes in the long run.
Providing educational information to your patients can improve their outcomes, but it can also improve your practice’s revenue. Staying connected between appointments will not only help build patient relationships, but it can increase their loyalty too. If you make it a priority to educate your patients, they will see you stay updated in a constantly changing industry, and their trust in you as a provider and expert will increase. When patients trust their providers, they are more likely to follow their recommendations and prescribed treatment plans, and the loyalty they feel toward your practice increases. So when it’s time to schedule their next appointment, they will schedule it at your practice.
With the right patient relationship management software, providing this educational information doesn’t have to require much time on your part, but it can make a huge difference to your patients, both in their own health and in the way they view your practice. For more ways build patient relationships, check out our guide, ‘4 Tips for Staying Connected with Patients between Visits.’