Automated Communication to Geriatric Patient Families & Friends
Today’s EMRs and Practice Management systems don’t formally support communication with a patient’s entire home support network. This support network includes caregivers, guardians, family members, and friends responsible for patient care. Analog Informatics extends your EMR to engage this critical population with little to no effort by your staff.
Little thought or effort is given to the design of EMRs in the area known as Related Persons. Related Persons refers to persons other than the patient who have a care relationship with the patient. It is incumbent on medical providers to communicate with all related persons appropriately. This communication ensures they understand what they need to do to achieve the best outcome for a patient.
Problem: EMRs are not designed for senior/geriatric care
Little to no formal related person data is captured in EMRs. How can the medical team communicate reliably to all authorized 3rd parties to benefit the patient? Analog Informatics has add-ons for your EMR to capture the missing information. We also provide automated communication services to keep everybody updated.
Playing the Telephone Party Game with Healthcare Patients
It is not typical for a patient’s care network to be kept in the loop on all patient logistics. Logistics include care instructions, new appointments, recalls, and post-op care plans. Geriatric patients or their caregivers must manually update family, friends, and others responsible for the patient’s well-being.
Today’s healthcare communication is like the “The Telephone Game,” In the game, the same message is forwarded between multiple parties. As anyone who has played the game knows, the message gets distorted with each iteration. Regarding medical care, the telephone game is the default mechanism for information sharing to and from caregivers and families. As we all know, this game leads to misunderstandings and worse.
Automated Related Persons Communication Workflows
In Analog Informatics Corporation’s Patient Concierge system, we capture all patient-authorized related person contacts at patient intake. Related persons receive the same logistics information as the patient during their care. The communication goes from pre-op through post-op care periods.
How Related Persons Lists are Managed
Authorized related persons approved by the patient are entered into the existing EMR patient contact page. Entry is done via a FHIR SMART extension provided by Analog Informatics.
Most modern EMRs support the FHIR SMART standard, and integration and support of related persons and automated messaging is straightforward.
Analog Informatics supports most EMRs and Practice Management Systems for fast and easy integration.
Patients can edit their Related Persons list via a URL link (communication preferences) sent to every patient. Messages with the link include an initial welcome message and subsequent logistics updates. Related persons can suspend or restart a patient’s messaging in every message they receive.
How Messages Are Transmitted
The Analog Informatics platform monitors EMR activity for new appointments and appointment changes. When EMR appointment activity is detected, updates are sent to all parties. Appointments, encounters, service requests, pathology, lab tests, and other events are monitored for potential messaging. If there is a need to communicate an update, a message is sent to all parties automatically.
Benefits of Messaging All Related Persons
Because everyone is kept in the loop automatically and accurately, there is a lowered probability of a no-show appointment. Upcoming appointment information is automatically delivered to everyone’s calendar.
If a patient no-shows an appointment, their entire support network is informed. The patient can immediately reschedule the missed appointment (online, by phone, email, or text).This process operates without requiring healthcare staff to constantly call and try to connect (no phone tag needed).
If a patient cancels an appointment and does not schedule a new one immediately, the patient’s care support network is alerted to the gap in care. The network is informed of the need to reschedule the missed appointment immediately.
Pre-op and post-op electronic care plans can be sent automatically to all parties. Analog Informatics also provides electronic care plans that appear on the calendar of the patient and related persons. Care plans are derived from the clinicians and their different appointment types. Electronic care plans generate a tone and visual alert when it is time for the patient to take medicals, treat wounds, procedures, or for measurements. The electronic care plans are a backup to printed materials provided to the patient and potentially other parties. Because everyone in the patient’s network has the same care plan, it is an opportunity to provide a double check of patient compliance by 3rd parties. We believe this modernization and the use of modern technology significantly improve outcomes.
Electronic care plans are not a substitute for custom-written instructions provided by the practice. Existing plans may not reflect subsequent verbal orders from providers that may differ from previously provided electronic care plans. Such disclaimers are on every electronic care plan alert.
Research in Optimal Patient Engagement
Studies in patient engagement all refer to the need for practitioners to communicate with the patient and everyone responsible for their well-being, including family members. In the modern world of healthcare, there is no surplus of time and staff to initiate and maintain communication with a sprawling list of related persons for each patient.
Using automation from Analog Informatics, continuous communication across various modes (text, email, voice) can be automated at scale with no effort or full-time employees dedicated to this critical task.
Benefits of Automated Communication
Practices using Analog Informatics differentiate themselves from non-automated and non-communicative practices with better online reputation scores, more referrals, and better clinical outcomes. Patients and their families appreciate the white glove concierge service, which shows that the practice is compassionate and caring. The practice goes the extra mile for every patient and their family.
From a marketing perspective, this extra level of care (comprehensive communication to all related persons) to the patient and family, friends, and others shows the full capabilities of the practice that competitors cannot match.
Better communication by comprehensive automated engagement is good medicine and good business.
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