What is telehealth messaging?

Written by: Brad

We live in an interconnected world. There seems to be an unwritten rule that we all must be on-call at all times, whether it’s family, friends, or work. While this can be frustrating at times, it also allows information to travel faster than before and for people to feel as if they are being heard. Patients reaching out to providers is no different; gone are the days when a patient may get a phone call to remind them they have an upcoming appointment. Patients now expect to be connected to their doctor. 

Being connected to a doctor can take a few different forms: is there a scheduling app where patients can book appointments? Can patients receive documents from the provider to get a better idea of their health? Or can a patient submit a digital payment with a credit card on file? These are all valid ways for a patient to feel connected to a practice. But one way in particular is taking the healthcare world by storm and patients are expecting it – and that is telehealth messaging.

What is telehealth messaging?

When someone thinks of telehealth the first thought will most likely be speaking with a medical professional through a video connection. And while that is certainly a form of telehealth(such as Beam’s HIPAA compliant synchronous telehealth), it is just one form of this communication. Other forms are Remote Patient Monitoring, Store and Forward, and Asynchronous telehealth. Telehealth messaging would be considered a form of asynchronous, since it is not technically a live interaction happening in real-time. 

Telehealth messaging can work in a variety of ways, but the way that patients seem to have preferred is one that reminds them most of their personal life – a messenger that they can type text through, send images, emojis, and a variety of communications (please see the image to the right of Beam’s telehealth messenger).

How difficult is it to use telehealth messaging

Telehealth messaging can be as difficult as using text. With Beam’s telehealth messaging offering, the messenger lives in our platform. When a patient enters a telehealth waiting room, they can message a provider and let them know that they are in the waiting room, or that their insurance has changed, or if there is something else that the provider should know prior to the appointment. Through Beam’s notification center, the provider will receive an alert that the patient has entered the waiting room and that the practice has received a message. The provider, or provider’s assistant, can then go into the chat and answer when they have the time. 

Why should practices use telehealth messaging

Sooner than later, this will be a function that is expected from patients. In a recent study, 95% of providers cited “being responsive to questions” as a top driver of patient loyalty. Being responsive and creating a good experience includes having people to serve the needs of the patient, which at times can be helping them troubleshoot telemedicine issues, answer questions about insurance, but, more often than not it just lets the patient know you are there for them and in turn creates a superior healthcare experience. In another recent study, 56% of consumers stated they would consider switching providers for a better experience. 

At Beam, we offer tehealth messaging as a standard part of our service because we want to give doctors the opportunity to provide extraordinary care. Part of that extraordinary care is giving patients digital conveniences that help make the healthcare journey more accessible and reliable. To learn more about how Beam can help your practice provide extraordinary care, set up a time to meet with a member of our Beam Team here.

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