With technology ever-evolving, medical facilities are working hard to keep pace, ensuring that new systems are properly integrated into daily operations. That way, healthcare organizations can be sure to offer patients quality, cost-effective care.
One of the best ways to do that is by keeping two-way communication. Using an answering service can further help in this process, as patients can reach a representative 24/7 through phone, email or text messaging services. Contact is crucial for the healthcare industry, and it was further proven in a recent report by the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA).
According to their findings, when electronic data was shared through a collaborative effort between the Washington Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (WA-ACEP), the Washington State Medical Association, the Washington State Hospital Association and HCA, emergency room visits were reduced and better patient care was coordinated.
Seven best practices, including tracking frequent users of emergency departments and adopting electronic tracking systems to exchange patient information were implemented. After the first six months of the program, Washington has saved more than 10 percent in Medicaid fee-for-service emergency care costs, the report said.
“Patients have fewer emergencies when a primary care physician is implementing a cohesive care plan for them,” Stephen Anderson, immediate past president of the Washington state chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said in a press release. “Prescription drug abuse is decreased. Hospitals can compare performances with their peers, identify and share best practices, and help patients receive care in the most appropriate and cost-effective setting.”
The same way that communication between providers is important, also holds true for communication between doctors and their patients. When people can contact a real person and receive information about their personal health, it will further improve hospital’s efforts to provide quality care.