Is the Doctor In? Three Ways to Proactively Communicate With the Healthcare Industry

Outbound for Healthcare

Knowing when to initiate a conversation with your customer can be a daunting task. With the help of a well-planned outbound strategy and the right technology, you can be well equipped to target your customers and reach them through their preferred channel. While just about every industry could benefit from an outbound strategy, two main industries rise to the top: healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

What makes healthcare and pharmaceuticals interesting industries for outbound is that according to recent research by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 59% of respondents expect mobile health to change the way they seek information on health issues and 48% believe it will change the way they communicate with physicians. These statistics show the need for a more mobile way of communicating between healthcare providers and their patients. This mobile transition benefits both parties in an industry where miscommunication can cause more harm than good.

Below are three ways healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations can proactively communicate with their customers using an outbound strategy:

Appointment confirmations

In the U.K., one in 10 health appointments were missed in 2011, costing the nation’s health organization millions of dollars. To prevent patients from skipping appointments, doctors in the U.S. are starting to charge fees for missed visits. As more people place healthcare appointments at the bottom of their priorities, doctors are losing out on revenue from missed appointments. Healthcare providers that implement an outbound strategy to send appointment confirmation notifications to patients help decrease the number of missed appointments.

Notifications and reminders

Studies show that Americans waste upwards of $250 billion a year from not taking their prescribed medications. These missed prescriptions lead to more complicated health procedures including follow up appointments and emergency room visits. To avoid this dilemma, healthcare providers can set up outbound campaigns using their customers’ preferred communication method – SMS text, email or even a phone call, to remind patients to take their prescription at a certain time during the day. Additionally, pharmacies can send out reminders to let patients know when it is time to refill prescriptions or when a prescription is due to expire, so that patients are prompted to take their medications for the appropriate amount of time.

Account management and follow-ups

Many healthcare providers and pharmacies are working to improve patient experience protocols as the industry refocuses strategies on not only making patients healthy, but happy, too. For example, sending a quick message to check on a patient after a non-routine visit is a beneficial use of an outbound strategy that directly impacts improving a customer’s experience. Offices can even send messages to patients asking for critical information to avoid time spent checking in before appointments, including insurance information and confirming personal details. This high-touch customer experience is what will set the premier healthcare providers apart.

Would you like it if your healthcare provider or pharmacy was more hands on? Let us know your thoughts below.

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About the Author: As the Director Product Marketing, Steve Gass has responsibility for Angel's complete product suite which includes IVR, proactive customer communications, virtual call center and mobile products. He has more than 25 years of experience within the customer engagement industry; most recently in a senior leadership role responsible for product management and development in the telecommunications industry. Additionally, Steve is the author/co-author of five pending patents related to outbound communications and has successfully collaborated with enterprises to affect revenue increases, improved customer satisfaction scores while reducing costs.

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