Challenges of patient healthcare communications in the coronavirus pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has presented many challenges for patients. With face masks and social distancing the norm, they’re more hesitant than ever before to risk exposure to receive in-person advocacy, guidance, and support on healthcare topics that are important for them, their families, and their loved ones.
How Prism Health Advocates communicated with patients — pre-pandemic
Prism Health Advocates’ mission is to educate, support, and empower patients and families as they navigate the complexities of healthcare. Early in the pandemic, we realized that our clients were reluctant to meet us in person. And this became clear when even hospitals, clinics, and primary care practices saw huge reductions in patients seeking in-person care for non-COVID-19 problems.
We knew we had to update our standard communication channels to provide more options for them to circumvent the challenges they now faced. We immediately started sharing up-to-date coronavirus information for patients, families, and employers on how to protect themselves. We also made sure they knew about all the different ways they could get in touch with us. Besides in-person consultations, we also offered telephone consults and email communications to assist interested prospects to learn more about our services.
But now with more people calling in than walking in, we noticed delays to important communications. Incoming calls were easy enough to address during business hours, as we maintain a well-staffed advocacy group. But clients reaching out to us after business hours, holidays, and on the weekends were limited to leaving messages for a callback at a later time. Coordinating a time to speak with clients to share updates and advice were challenging because of work or personal schedules. And it’s not always convenient to speak about personal healthcare concerns over the telephone from a client’s workplace or, at times, even from within a client’s home.
Email can be useful for coordinating times to speak together and to share detailed communication but also presents its own set of challenges. Patients, families, and employers are not always available to check their email accounts. This brings more delays to the advocacy process.
Vee24’s chat solution assists Prisms Health Advocate’s client communications
We decided that we needed to add another means of communication to better meet our clients’ current needs. We chose Vee24’s VeeMessenger service to provide live and asynchronous chat and we — and our clients — couldn’t be more pleased.
VeeMessenger enables our advocates to forge a personal connection with our clients via a channel they’re more comfortable using. We use VeeMessenger to enable secure, HIPAA compliant, client engagement anytime and from anywhere, and on any device. And VeeMessenger offers an instant live connection with no required download. This offers a reliable and seamless experience that our clients appreciate.
The personal attention, ease of use, reliability, security, and speed of care delivered during these chat engagements truly differentiate Prism Health Advocates from other advocacy organizations. Perhaps most importantly, it also allows us to reach people who may be hesitant to make a telephone call to discuss sensitive matters.
Mental health advocacy via digital channels during the pandemic
We see mental health advocacy as one of the top use cases for our new chat service. Not all prospective clients are comfortable speaking over the telephone to share their mental health concerns. And as secure messaging can be completed on any mobile device, clients can even receive mental health care recommendations and consultations while in the presence of their family members, spouses, or employers. The speed at which chat messages are sent, ease of sending them, security, and the comfort they feel during an engagement, makes it an attractive channel.
Better care and healthcare outcomes
Adding VeeMessenger has improved our communications, care, and healthcare outcomes for our clients during these difficult times. This digital transformation clearly aligns with our pledge to empower our clients to make healthy and informed decisions as they navigate complex healthcare and healthcare insurance organizations. For more information, please visit us at www.prismhealthadvocates.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest Author — Debbie Bain, Managing Director, Prism Health Advocates
Debbie Bain is the founder and managing director of Prism Health Advocates. With over 35 years as a registered nurse, first responder, and health educator, she has witnessed the US healthcare system work successfully for patients and families, yet has also seen it fail, far too many times. She founded Prism Health Advocates because she believes everyone deserves the best access to resources, information, and advice necessary in making sound medical decisions.