Patient Communication Myths Debunked

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Patients and Family Members Don’t Want To Be Bothered with MORE Communication FALSE: Patients, Family Members and Physicians Respond Favorably to Receiving Daily Updates

You would think that with the amount of voice messages and missed calls, patients and family members only want to receive the bare minimum needed. A recent study actually found that patients and family members responded favorably to receiving daily status reports from medical teams. The catch? The status reports were typed up.

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This particular study  found that hospitalized patients or family members on six wards of a university hospital received a printed copy of their medical team’s daily progress notes. Surveys afterward showed 74% to 86% of patients and family members responded favorably. Physicians were mostly satisfied, too.

It could be that the method of delivery is the reason for the positive response. Text-based status reports ensure all parties are in on the processes involved in treatment. There is a sense of collaboration, while sharing information that allows all parties to read in their own time.

Malpractice Is Only Related To Procedural Errors FALSE: Patient Expectations vs. Outcome Impact Almost Half of Cases

According to an analysis of 1,895 claims against more than 2,100 orthopedists by The Doctors Company, a physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, almost half of the medical malpractice claims against orthopedists, patients allege improper performance of surgery.

This is where things get interesting: this claim is made most often because the outcome differs from the patient’s expectation, not because of inadequate care. Better doctor-patient communication methods will allow for a clearer understanding of procedures and expected outcomes.

In addition, utilizing a text-based channel creates a clear “paper trail” for this information exchange so that providers have proof of informed consent when faced with malpractice claims.

 

We Have Telephones, They Work Just Fine FALSE: (Well, Mostly) Telephones Are Less Cost-Effective And More Time Consuming Than Text-Based Messaging

It has been found that 99% of received mobile text messages are opened, and 90% of all mobile text messages are read within three minutes of being received. This widespread consumer usage of mobile messaging opens the channel for communication between providers and patients.

In addition to using mobile messaging for appointment reminders, text-based messaging has had a positive impact on patient treatment adherence. Nearly 75% of adults are non-adherent in one or more ways, costing the healthcare industry $300 billion annually. A 2016 study found that there was a positive increase in patient adherence rates when sent reminders via mobile text message, improving from 50% (assuming this baseline rate in patients with chronic disease) to 67.8%.

Text-based messaging has a favorable reception across demographics. One study found, of those who received TMs [text messages], only 7.6% reported technical difficulties with receiving the messages. Most participants (88.6%) strongly or moderately agreed that the TM [text messaging] feature on their mobile phone was easy to use.

 

But SMS Text Messaging Isn’t HIPAA-Compliant, lest we forget the millions of dollars in fees HIPAA-compliance issues rack up

That, my friends, is where KLARA comes in. We’re not trying to brag (or sell you anything for that matter), we are building a network for better communication. We want to make your lives easier — everyone’s lives easier, from the lab technician to the office manager. KLARA makes everything easier through HIPAA-compliant mobile messaging. It’s really simple. Email sales@klara.com or schedule a quick call to learn more about how to use Klara.