Patient Communication Trends in 2018

Patient Communication Trends in 2018
You probably realised that the patient communication is changing. In this article, we would like to take a look at the top patient communication trends, which has influenced the communication this year.  We would like to give you some great tips for enhancing your communication.

Start to use video

Now that high-quality access to video footage is available to all through smartphones & the internet, clinics have found that patients engage more with video than with text (email or messaging), and patient communication video is an efficient way to explain complex or confusing issues to patients under stress.

New tools enabling patient support teams to quickly create and share videos will mean a big jump in video usage in patient communication in 2018 for small and large clinics.

To get started, consider these two free options to add to your patient & internal communication:

– Soapbox from Wistia

– Loom 

Here are 4 practical ways I’ve seen video used in clinics in 2017:

1. Creating how-to videos (especially for aftercare)
2. Videos for training new team members on procedures
3. Patient communication (before, during & after treatment)
4. Discussing diagnostic images between team members (especially between multiple location clinics)

The newsletter is not death

The regular newsletters are still the good way to stay in touch with your patients, but you need to know how to write it! Here’s a good example of a monthly clinic newsletter. And how one of our advisors – Chris Barrow – suggests it to be set up. I can recommend the online tool – MailChimp.com as a good easy software to use for this.

– 80% patient stories
– 15% team stories
– 5% dental education

Obviously, there are many clinic owners that give “reasons why we can’t do this” which are usually the next 2 excuses:

1. our patients don’t want to tell their stories
2. our team members don’t want to ask.

Then, of course, I know the top clinics who just do it and get:

1. increase in referrals from former patients
2. keep former patients as regular patients
3.book patients that contacted them but didn’t book.

Here is the link to a patient newsletter that Chris saw as a great example of graphic design and content.

Patient communication on Facebook & different channels

Amazing to see how fast Facebook is updating it’s CRM capabilities. Today you can do automated follow up with patients who booked into the clinic via Facebook calendar – very useful for small clinics with no customized PRM yet.

Don’t forget, that patients are starting to use different channels for communication. Different channels require different speeds – “Fast” for email is very different than fast for phone support, and for the live chat. Patient expectations vary by channel, and your speed targets should too. Here are some examples of most used communications tools in clinics.
 Did you find these tip and tricks helpful? We are looking forward to hearing from you. Please, leave us some comments or share this article on your social media with hashtag #GCRtips. If you want to get more content like this, please contact us at contact@gcr.org

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