Ensuring that Patients and Families Understand Their Treatment Plans
Patient approved familial care teams play an important role in patient care. After a surgery or procedure, it is typically a friend or family member who is charged with caring for the patient. However, this family member does not likely have a detailed understanding of the patient’s condition, nor do they have the same relationship with the physician that the patient does.
Care managers who connect these care teams using a HIPAA compliant text messaging platform can ease these stressors and open the lines of communication for family members. This ensures that they have access to first-hand information regarding patient care to clear up potential miscommunications and give everyone involved peace of mind.
Working with the Patient’s Friends and Family.
Having family support is extremely beneficial to a patient’s well-being before and after a procedure. The presence of family members can reduce anxieties, reassure the patient that someone is there to help them with their care and recovery, and so much more. Because these caregivers play a crucial part in the patient’s recovery, it’s important that they have a clear understanding of care and follow-up instructions to assist their family member.
Texting can be used to convey these care instructions to multiple family caregivers at once, and is a great way to ensure that information is not lost or overlooked. This platform ensures that all caregivers receive the same message and that any questions asked and responses from healthcare providers sent using the platform will be visible to the whole group. This prevents pieces of information from being neglected, provides a written record for family members to consult with, and ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding the patient’s care.
A More Effective Way to Convey Care Instructions.
The traditional way of relaying care and discharge instructions to patients and their families is just not efficient. The forms, which are often only available in hard-copy format, with instructions are often misplaced, difficult to read, and never quite seem to have enough information on them. Aside from this, patients may not have access to scanners or fax machines to distribute these instructions to their personal or family care team.
What makes care instructions even more difficult to comprehend is that patients and their family members are often distracted as the patient may be in pain and groggy after the procedure and their family member is likely concerned by this. As a result, they’re both less likely to ask questions about these care instructions, and this lack of clarification can be a barrier to care and adherence.
To reinforce and clarify these instructions, patients and care teams can be sent additional instructions and reminders, pain scales to ensure that they’re recovering as expected, medication reminders, and a variety of additional materials. One of the great benefits of texting is that the platform supports real-time messaging, which amplifies the benefits of these instructions.
The fact that over 90% of the American population owns a cell phone greatly increases the chances of patients and caregivers receiving these timely messages when they need them most. Because cell phones are a readily available and quick communication tool, patients are more likely to use them to contact care managers before issues arise. Allowing patients and their families to contact their care managers readily gives them peace of mind knowing that their healthcare concerns will be quickly addressed.
Give Family Caregivers First-Hand Access to Providers.
Texting enables two-way communication from provider to patient/caregiver or from caregiver/patient to provider. This allows family caregivers to easily connect with care managers and other members of the care team using the platform. The patient’s family caregiver is probably not familiar with their physician or clinical team, but it’s vital that these lines of communication are open so that caregivers have care managers and practitioners to turn to. Text messaging can bridge this gap by allowing family caregivers to contact the practitioner’s team in a simple and straightforward manner if they need additional clarification. Because of this, the platform offers a way to identify high-risk or concerned patients, allowing practitioners to reconnect with them to address their concerns.