As more and more patients seek out reputable ambulatory surgery centers for outpatient procedures, it’s more important than ever that facilities consider ASC patient engagement as a key aspect of their overall communication strategies. What complicates the matter is finding a way to be personal and helpful for each individual patient without burning all of your time and energy doing so. There is ambulatory surgery center software available that makes these processes much easier, of course. But in developing your ASC messaging strategies, it is important to keep a few things in mind:
Reach Out Through Multiple Channels
The problem many ASCs face when it comes to patient communication is a reluctance to embrace new communication channels. A postcard and phone call simply do not cut it anymore. Successful ASCs are sending personalized updates and reminders by way of email, text messages, and other communication strategies in a constant effort at keeping patients engaged and informed.
Respect Your Patients’ Time
It should always be a goal to be respectful of your patients’ time. That’s why ASCs continuously strive to make the scheduling process as convenient as possible and to narrow appointment windows as much as they can so patients aren’t waiting around any longer than necessary to see a physician. Simplifying your booking processes with appointment templates can make this much simpler for your staff and your patients. And finally getting a grasp on your ASC scheduling will allow your physicians to see more patients and increase ASC revenue.
Automation is Key
Keeping track of every patient’s records and schedules by hand can be exhausting, confusing, and potentially damaging should errors occur. No matter the size of your database, it is worth investing in a program that will help you to not only get organized, but automate as much patient e-communication as possible. Worthwhile programs will allow you to customize highly specific, segmented, and accurate messaging tactics for your patients including reminders, instructions, and educational information.
It’s important that through whatever communication strategies you implement, your messaging remains open, honest, and helpful to your patients. Don’t inundate or purposely confuse your clients with unnecessarily lengthy wording that doesn’t pertain to them. Instead, find a way to directly communicate your message in a way that your patients will read and understand. It doesn’t matter how many communication channels you use if your messaging isn’t clear and concise.
Though you’ll find it beneficial to expedite communication as much as possible, remember that your patients should still know they’re communicating with people who care. Messaging should be personal and not robotic. Keep in mind that besides cost savings and convenience, one of the major ASC draws that hospitals lack is the ability to cultivate personal and long-lasting relationships with patients. No matter your messaging channels or strategies, you never want to put this advantage in jeopardy.
Better Communication = Better Care
When it’s all said and done, your goal as an ASC is to provide exceptional ambulatory care to your patients. Improving your communication strategies is vital to this process. Streamlining and personalizing your communication tactics builds patient trust, reduces error tendencies, and helps to generate an overall positive patient experience.
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