How is technology changing the way we interact with healthcare professionals?
In a recent survey, over 70% of people surveyed stated that they would prefer using digital tools to have communications with their doctor or healthcare professional when possible. This digital communication could range from video appointments, phone calls, online appointment booking, prescriptions being emailed, and invoices being emailed.
In an age where almost 93% of the population in the United States has access to a smartphone, digital communication is becoming extremely important.
In the following article, we'll take a closer look at the pros and cons of digital communication trends in the healthcare industry and how they are evolving.
Digital Communication and Patient Experience
The recent global pandemic, which led to widespread stay-at-home orders and limited contact between people, forced many businesses, including healthcare, to find alternative ways to communicate with customers and patients.
Digital communication, such as video calls for appointments, was one way the healthcare industry pivoted to meet these new challenges. Since the pandemic, many of these changes, which were meant to be temporary, have been fully implemented by many healthcare providers.
With recent technological improvements, video calls could easily replace many in-person appointments. For example, prescription renewals for ongoing conditions where there haven't been any changes could easily be accomplished with a quick video consultation between the physician and the patient.
Another way video appointments could be utilized is as a first step or initial consultation before the patient needs to visit the clinic. This can save time and help establish a relationship between the patient and the physician.
When a patient needs a referral from their general practitioner (GP) for a specialist or needs to renew their referral, video consultations can cut down on a lot of time and travel.
Of course, some in-person appointments are still needed, especially for physical examinations. This is why a flexible approach to video appointments and digital communication is needed. Still, a well-balanced approach to appointments and communications can lead to a much higher satisfaction level from patients looking for a flexible and convenient healthcare method.
Different Forms of Digital Communication
While there are many obvious forms of digital communication, another digital communication method making a significant resurgence, and one that you may not have thought about, is QR codes. Not only can QR codes be placed on pharmaceutical packaging, but they're now being put directly onto some pharmaceutical products thanks to innovative screen-printing technology.
If you've ever had to take multiple pills and ended up confused about which pill is which, or transferred them to a daily or weekly container, then lost the packaging, you're not alone.
Laxxon Medical Corp. has formulated SPID®-Technology (Screen Printing Innovative Drug Delivery Technology), which is a patented 3DSP process for printing pharmaceuticals to a mass market that can improve complex drug delivery systems.
This technology has been able to print QR codes on tablets and can be incorporated into the manufacturing process.
A Balanced Approach to Digital Communication Is Still Needed
Even though a majority of patients prefer digital correspondence, simply switching to digital communication 100% won't work. Healthcare providers need to account for clients who don't use digital communication, don't prefer it, or do not have easy access. While over 70% of people surveyed preferred digital communication, that still leaves almost 30% who don't, and alienating such a large percentage of clients wouldn't be good for business.
By taking a balanced approach to digital communication, healthcare providers, along with pharmaceutical companies, could significantly improve not only patient satisfaction but also patient safety and overall healthcare outcomes.
Laxxon Medical is dedicated to engineering patented 3D pharmaceutical solutions that optimize products and benefit patients. Our goal is to establish SPID®-Technology as a manufacturing process with the individual and the pharmaceutical partner in mind.
To keep up to date with SPID®-Technology and Laxxon Medical news and announcements, follow us on LinkedIn.