How Do Most People Like To Communicate With Their Doctor and Why

September 24, 2022

Whether you want to increase engagement, improve the patient experience, or make healthcare more accessible for residents of your community, you must identify the most effective mode of communication and utilize it. The most effective method is probably not what you think it is.

The patient portal is out

If your healthcare practice is like 93% of those across the nation, you use a patient portal as your primary way to communicate. There you contact patients regarding everything from billing to health status updates. While you once had high hopes that the patient portal would improve your doctor office management, you may have come to realize that the portal remains largely unutilized. This seems to be true for many practices across the nation.

According to an American Hospital Association survey, just 10% of participants prefer to receive physician communications through patient portals. Nearly twice as many participants prefer a simpler and more natural mode of communication: text messages.

19.6% of patients prefer to communicate with their doctors via text message

While in-person and over-the-phone communications remain the favored ways for patients to communicate with their health providers, nearly 20% of survey respondents agreed that text messaging is the third-best option. However, when the communications involve the health of a family member, 91% of concerned individuals prefer to receive text messages from their loved ones’ care teams rather than a phone call, as text eliminates phone tag delays.

More interestingly, patients want to receive text communications from their doctors, dentists, and other providers if said communications involve simple tips for how they can improve their health. For instance, 83% of survey respondents said they would welcome text message reminders to check their blood pressure, take prescribed medications appropriately, schedule follow-up appointments, and complete rehabilitation services.

Why, though, do people prefer to communicate with their providers via text message? The answer is simple: It’s convenient, secure, and it comes naturally to most people.

For most people, text message is the primary way they communicate with friends, family members, and even co-workers. It makes sense, then, that instinct would tell them to connect with their doctors through text as well.

Additionally, texting is something people can do at any time of any day when it is most convenient for them. Through text, patients can ask questions, address concerns, and schedule appointments on their schedules, without having to wait for normal office hours and without having to sit on hold.

Finally, with text, patients never have to worry about missing phone calls. The phone tag often associated with patient-doctor communications can cause unnecessary stress in individuals’ lives, especially for individuals who are waiting for diagnoses. Through text, you can send health updates and other info when it is convenient for you and have peace of mind that the patient will receive it when it is most convenient for him or her.

Let us help you identify the most effective way to communicate with your patients

Though most patients prefer to communicate via text, not all do. You need to identify ways to communicate with each patient in ways that work for him or her, whether that is through text, your website, or a patient portal. Our team at Doctor Genius can help you do that. Call our team for healthcare practice advice and marketing help at 877-477-2311 today.

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