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Patient Messaging

How to Make Messages Stick

Key Takeaways

  • Patient understanding and compliance are critical to creating optimal outcomes
  • However, misunderstandings and noncompliance are common issues
  • Engage your patients the right way by following these strategies

You know the routine: you go in for a consult, review the patient’s primary reason for visiting, talk about their treatment options, answer some questions, and after a while they either decide to move forward and schedule the procedure, or they go home to think about their options.

And then you never hear from them again. Or, you do hear from them, but they can’t remember what you said.

Patient understanding and compliance is a huge part of healthcare. But lack of understanding happens all too often and leads to more after-hours calls and an increased risk of negative outcomes, noncompliance and nonadherence, and a reduced patient experience, to name a few. Poor communication has even been cited in about 50% of malpractice suits. Considering 1 in 3 physicians has been sued in their lifetime, it seems there is a lot of miscommunication going on.

And it shows: 50% of patients walk out of a physician’s office without a clear understanding of what happened or what their next steps need to be.

As horrifying as that sounds, it makes sense considering that research shows people only listen at 25% capacity. Meaning: you could be doing everything right during the appointment—you speak clearly, use simple terminology, ask questions, etc.—and still, the bulk of the information won’t get through.

So how do you reach your patients in a way that truly makes messages stick?

Stop wasting time trying to get through to patients with messages they’ll never hear. Here’s what to do instead.

Build trust

When patients trust you, they’ll listen better. However, most doctors wait until the consult to start building rapport, but the truth is the time to start building a meaningful relationship is before the consultation. Start by giving your patients relevant information from the start. Keeping your website up to date with information about you, your staff, and the procedures you offer, and staying active and engaged on social media are excellent ways to build your reputation, which in turn helps build your patients’ trust.

Hot tip: WUWTA adds a superior level of rapport by delivering customized messages directly to your patients when they need it. That means that your patients can get exactly what they need to keep them engaged and informed—by the time they get to the consult, they’ll feel better prepared to have a more meaningful dialogue with you.

Embrace changing patient behavior

How many times have you walked into a consult and the patient is on their phone? Phones are now a primary way of consuming information, so why not meet patients where they are?

In fact, a recent study showed that engaging patients through text message outreach during the post-discharge process created a 41% reduction in the risk for 30-day hospital readmission.

A communications platform can not only send messages to your patients, but they can tailor the messages in a way that makes it easier for them to retain the information. With video-based content, like the messages sent through WUWTA, as much as 95% of the content is retained.

Chris Galea, DDS, MD, says, “WUWTA saves me and my staff time, decreasing the amount of times we actually have to call patients, and the instructional videos cut down on not only consult time, but the videos about post-op care decrease our post-op call volume, which is extremely beneficial for all staff.”

Repetition, repetition, repetition

It’s been said that repetition is the key to mastery. But who has time to go over everything multiple times with every patient? This is where automation comes in.

Let WUWTA do the work for you. An engagement platform like WUWTA delivers customized messages at strategic points in a patient’s treatment. Your patients can watch the videos and review the messages as many times as they want, at a time that’s convenient for them.

Jonathan Shelton, DMD, MD, says, “The nice thing about WUWTA and the content is I’ve got patients showing up to consultations that are already educated… and we’re finding that their understanding of treatment is there. We’re just enhancing it. And that case acceptance is certainly going up.”

Master patient communication with WUWTA

Improving the way you communicate with your patients makes a huge difference in their care. WUWTA makes it easy to create meaningful relationships with your patients to improve trust, engagement, and compliance.

WUWTA’s platform is strategically designed to give your patients information in a way they can understand best: in the right way, at the right time.

See WUWTA in action. In just 30 minutes, you’ll see how WUWTA works and what it can do for your practice. Fill out the form to request a 30-minute presentation today.

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