Austin, TX, January 06, 2020 --(PR.com
)-- Patient Pass, in order to make medical and dental offices more accessible to patients while maintaining security and privacy, has launched a HIPAA-compliant messaging platform that enables easy and efficient office communication.
The healthcare industry has had a customer service problem for years and years. Due to the overarching regulations involved in record keeping and communication, medical offices are some of the least accessible business places in the United States. Couple that with the demands of increasing patient loads, and these over-busy offices have turned into some of the least responsive places as well. In fact, the average wait times (and call-back times) of medical offices are some of the worst in any industry.
This has reflected poorly on health care in general, but even more so on small to medium sized medical and dental offices that simply don’t have the resources to employ large call centers or dedicate employees to check voice-mail all day. Staff get stretched too thin and everybody pays the price. Satisfaction scores are revealing this problem as frustrated patients leave two-star reviews for otherwise great practices.
Patient Pass is seeking to change all that. By making offices available via standard text messaging, Patient Pass allows patients to send and receive messages by their preferred means of communication. This real-time link between office and patient provides a quicker and easier connection than voice-mails or e-mails inside a patient portal.
Offices benefit as well, since messages pop up in real-time on a simple visual dashboard, making notifications much more informative than a ringing phone or beeping voice-mail indicator. Similar to a desktop version of a phone’s texting application, each office computer can receive and respond immediately to patient messages, or they can tag and prioritize messages, even transfer them to other office staff.
“Our goal is to make communication the easiest part of health care,” says CEO and Co-founder, Dr. Kent Mitchell, himself a busy physician. “There are gaps in HIPAA-compliant communication that have been poorly filled by faxes and phone calls for so long. Patient Portal e-mails have helped, but not enough – they can be slow and cumbersome. Texting is just easier for everybody.”
And according to poll after poll, patients do prefer texting to other means of office communication. The problem is two-fold: how to integrate texting into the clinic workflow and how to maintain HIPAA compliance. Most landlines don’t allow for two-way texting, and those that do accept incoming texts don’t have encryption or security in place to ensure patient data is protected. So that leaves clinics to rely on old methods of communication: phone, fax, e-mail – mostly slow, mostly cumbersome. And HIPAA-compliant methods of office-patient communication (like the portal) usually require that patients already be connected to the clinic, so new referrals are stuck with phone-tag.
The clinic where Hayden Thompson works had already incorporated a portal, but it wasn’t very patient or staff-friendly. “We also wanted to reach out to new referrals,” she said, “And using Patient Pass has been a breeze! The app is easy to navigate and it has lots of features that make life simpler for my staff and our patients!”
“The ease of adding Patient Pass to existing workflows is really where we excel,” says Dr. Mitchell. “It takes less than 5 minutes to set your whole clinic up. You’ll have a phone number just for texting, and all your staff chatting with patient and with each other in hardly the time it takes to check one voice-mail.”
Accessibility is the newest buzzword in healthcare, and this applies not only to patients’ access to the clinic, but to staff’s access to the patients’ records – including all communication. Phone calls are fine, but clinics agree that texting is a time saver, and it’s nice to have a visual record of each message rather than rely on voice-mail boxes or sticky notes. It’s also nice when this all-important access is not too tied up with expensive and convoluted EHRs.
“Health care communication should be getting easier,” says Dr. Mitchell. “And we just want to help.”