In the last post on successful patient education, we shared tips to help increase patient loyalty by providing the right education to the right patients. Your patients are already doing their own research about their condition or procedure. You can help them by providing accurate, timely communications customized to their needs. In return, they will be more likely to keep coming back.
In the last post, we talked about what to send. In this one, we are looking at when to send it. The old adage “timing is everything” even applies to patient education.
When sending education to your patients, it’s important to consider both when they will get it and how often. For example, there are appointments that require the patient to follow certain steps. For some medical or dental procedures, a patient must fast for several hours, other eye care appointments may require the patient to wear their glasses instead of contacts, and some vaccines like flu shots need to be given at a certain time of year. This type of education will only be relevant to each patient during that time period, so it’s important to deliver the messages to the patients with enough time for them to read and follow the instructions.
Another aspect of the “when” in patient education is how often you send it. If you inundate your patients with too many messages, it won’t matter how relevant the content is, your patients probably won’t read them. It’s important to decide how often your patients want to hear from you, and stick to that frequency. It could be monthly, quarterly, weekly, or as needed. When it comes down to it, you know your patients and you know what information they need from you, so you will be the best person to decide the frequency of the messages.
A patient relationship management (PRM) system can be a helpful tool in managing the timing of your messages. With a PRM, not only can you segment your population easily, but you can also see what you have sent and when and schedule new messages. A PRM system can help you provide the right education at the right time without adding to work for staff.For more information about patient education, download our white paper here.