6 benefits of a patient communication platform to ease the workload in your primary care today

Äret Pea

14 March 2023

Growing demand for healthcare services, increasing expenditure and workforce shortages have resulted in doctors being busier than ever. Facing such workload and time pressures eventually leads to general practice burnout. While people have been coming up with many long-term solutions, certain steps could be taken to relieve the crisis today.

primary care doctor

In today's healthcare landscape, digital patient communication is becoming increasingly important. However, not only because of the fact that patients want to be more involved in their healthcare decisions and have greater access to their health information. There has been a growing demand for healthcare services, increasing expenditure and workforce shortages. Thus, doctors are busier than ever, facing workload and time pressures that eventually will result in general practice burnout. Chances are that it’s already happening. 

Long-term vs short-term solutions against the workload crisis in general practice

In October 2022, the Irish College of General Practitioners  published a discussion paper on the workforce and workload crisis in general practice in Ireland. This study puts more emphasis on longer term solutions, e.g. training more people to become GPs, developing multidisciplinary primary care teams, incentivising rural general practitioners, and attracting doctors from overseas, to name a few. While the medical workforce does require long-term planning, at Certific, we are confident that modern digital technologies can already alleviate some of the pressure today.

30% of the general practitioner's workload consists of admin work

According to studies, 30% of the general practitioner's workload consists of admin work. Certific’s patient engagement and communication platform won’t be able to eliminate it entirely, but we can reduce it considerably so that the doctors could focus on what is most important - providing quality care for their patients. While streamlining administrative tasks is probably the most significant one, patient communication platforms offer other benefits as well.

6 key benefits of digital patient communication platforms:

1. Increased Efficiency

The platform streamlines communication between patients and healthcare providers by managing patient requests and automating time consuming and repetitive tasks. For example, arranging repeat prescriptions, writing sick notes and retyping things represent a significant part of a clinician’s day. Those tasks could easily be done in just a few clicks. What’s more, instead of transcribing scattered communication over phone calls, emails, text messages, or in-person visits, doctors will receive concise medical summaries of patient queries into one platform, which can be copied directly into the patient’s medical record, saving additional time on documentation. All the information can be easily filtered, sorted and searched. The staff can then assign tasks amongst themselves, communicate with team members and with the patient in an asynchronous manner. All the above reduces time and resources required to manage patient communications, freeing up staff time to focus on patient care.

2. Improved Patient Communication

A patient communication platform allows clinicians to securely communicate with patients in a more efficient and effective manner. The practice can manage communication with patients at their convenience and follow up on patients' requests at a suitable pace without compromising on quality or losing crucial information by receiving all patient queries in one secure channel.

3. Improved Patient Safety

Nowadays, patients' requests are more complex than usual. It is common for 4-5 concerns to be raised at once. Doctors may need time to think in situations like that before giving a diagnosis or prescribing medication. Moreover, clinicians are also human, and they may sometimes overlook crucial information on a phone call. This could cause errors in medication administration and other aspects of patient care. But when clinicians are able to manage the speed and manner of communication over a single platform and have all the information listed in front of them, patient safety can be improved.

4. Increased Patient Satisfaction

Instead of having to call doctors during set telephone hours, spending time on long call waiting queues or writing emails, patients can initiate communication at a time convenient for them, regardless of the clinic’s opening hours, therefore without taking up the practice’s time. Several admin requests, e.g repeat prescriptions could be sent in at the time most convenient for patients and can be handled easily via the platform. This can result in faster and more convenient access to care, improving patient satisfaction.

5. Better collaboration and communication among healthcare providers

Patient communication platforms can improve collaboration and communication among healthcare providers by providing a centralised platform for patient data and communications. This allows for real-time information sharing and coordinated care across multiple providers, improving the accuracy and timeliness of diagnoses and treatments. Providers can also use the platform to securely communicate with one another and share important updates and test results, facilitating collaboration and improving patient outcomes.  

6. Greater Revenue Stream

IImplementing a patient communication platform can help your practice generate more revenue. By providing patients with convenient tools and resources to manage their health, you can improve patient satisfaction and encourage patients to stay engaged with their care. Patients who feel empowered to manage their health are also more likely to follow through with appointments and treatments, which can lead to better outcomes and reduced costs. In addition to that, by streamlining administrative tasks and offering convenient, digital tools for patients, practices can increase efficiency and accommodate a larger patient base without sacrificing quality of care.

In conclusion, introducing a patient communication platform can be a valuable investment for the practice, offering benefits for both the patients and the staff. By staying on top of emerging trends in healthcare technology and focusing on patient-centered care, one can set their practice up for long-term success and growth.

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