5 Ways Instant Messaging can help your medical practice

Discover how instant messaging software can increase healthcare team efficiency, provide faster communication than EHR messaging, improve physician and staff morale, help practice managers stay organized, and build patient trust in your medical practice.

1st Benefit – Healthcare Team Efficiency

Connecting healthcare teams and staff with peer-to-peer instant messaging software increases productivity and efficiency. HIPAA Compliant Instant Messengers provide an additional communication tool for teams enabling them to chat with each other quicker than other forms of communication (email, electronic medical record messages, written notes, and verbally).

While electronic communication, even instant chat or messaging is never a complete replacement for face-to-face communication, there are advantages.

1.  Faster than Electronic Health Record Messaging

Instant Messaging is faster and better than EHR communication in many ways. Most Electronic Health Record systems have an ’email’ or ‘messaging’ component. However, the majority do not have an instant messaging platform.Instead what EHR’s often have is an old school email type system (think AOL ‘you’ve got mail’). These tools DON’T:

  1. Provide Pop-Up Notifications while in other applications
  2. Provide Sound Notifications at the point of receipt
  3. Sometimes don’t even show up on the screen without refreshing or checking your specific messaging inbox.

2.  Faster than Verbal Communication

Instant Messaging is faster than verbal communication in many cases. How many times do your staff do the following EACH DAY?!

  • Front Receptionist walks to the Nurse station…
  • Doctor or Providers walk to the Nurse station to order something…
  • Staff go ask the billing department a patient insurance question…
  • a Medical Assistant has a question and so walks to the practice managers office…
  • a Doctor has a question for anyone on the team…
  • a Phone receptionist hunts down someone to answer a return call from a patient…
  • a Doctor needs a Medical Assistant in the exam room, but has to come out of the exam room to notify/tag someone…

2nd Benefit – Physician Morale

Instant Messaging is also beneficial for Physician morale. Because so much is expected of Physicians the burden is great for them to care for so many patients every day. Tools should help them to get quick support.

Instant Messengers help physicians by enabling them to get the help they need quicker. They can easily direct, ask questions, or request help from any staff member.

3d Benefit – Staff Morale

Instant Messaging software also boosts staff morale. Why?

  1. They can connect with each other better.
  2. Responses from management come quicker.
  3. Support is in ‘real time’ as opposed to only when someone else is near by (they can get assistance no matter where they are).
  4. Communication across the team is better, feedback is quicker, and the better communication builds trust and drives team loyalty.

4th Benefit – Practice Manager Sanity

The managers fear: “Oh no, they will be able to send me so many questions…”But wait, actually the questions from staff will decrease, and the efficiency of communication will increase.

Here’s how:As your team sends you questions via the instant messenger you are able to respond with the correct answer, policy, expectation, and help. With minimal repetition your team will know what you expect and will then learn quicker…causing less work for you.

Also, IM and Chat Platforms give you a chance to craft the best written response as opposed to trying to communicate sometime tricky policies and questions verbally, on the fly.In addition, when you send messages you will be able to quickly send them to groups which increases the speed of training and communication across the entire team.

5th Benefit – Patient Confidence

Patient care should be each medical practice or healthcare teams #1 priority. One of the biggest hurdles to patient care = PATIENT TRUST. If your patients trust you, then you can best provide them the care they need.

Instant Messaging builds patient trust and confidence.When patients have questions and teams give quick answers they know that their care team is organized, up-to-date, and ‘on-the-ball’. IM platforms, such as StaffappMD, allow your team to easily transfer information in a HIPAA Compliant way and support each other in providing positive patient experience.

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