Communication modalities available to health care

Communication modalities available to health care
Technology has contributed to immense improvement in almost all areas
including the health care sector. Communication is important in the
health care sector in the sense that it provides a platform for
interaction between patients, doctors, and the healthcare providers.
Communication via email has proven to extremely crucial to both
healthcare providers, as well as, patients. When this mode of
communication is used efficiently, it can provide security to
patient’s personal information through encryption. Email communication
is not the only form of technological mode of communication in the
healthcare industry. When one compares and contrasts between email and
other forms of communication, one gets an insight into the benefit of
using email as a mode of communication in a healthcare setting.
Email communication has become one of the most popular modes of
communication in a healthcare setting. According to a research by the
American Medical Association, more than 90% of health practitioners
receive and send emails. In addition, more than 25% of health care
professionals use e-mails to communicate with their patients (Gagnon,
Légaré, Labrecque, Frémont & Pluye, 2009). Apart from enabling
communication between patients and healthcare providers, this mode of
communication also facilitates the marketing of products to patients.
This mode of communication has come in handy in the advancement of
healthcare communications and technologies. The emergence of social
media has also affected the manner in which the healthcare industry uses
email as a mode of communication.
Email communication refers to a technologically advanced mailing system
which facilitates the reception of electronic messages. This mode of
communication confers some benefits to the patients since it allows
health care providers to send a message to their patients in a fast and
secure way. The method also gives enables patients to have unrestricted
access to health records via a web platform. Although email is not the
only mode of communication technology in the healthcare setting, it
emerges as one of the easiest and safest.
Email communication is one of the fastest ways to create and deliver
communication. In fact, it only takes some minutes to get a response.
Healthcare relies on trending medical news any scientific breakthroughs.
Email provides the flexibility needed in communication and enables
healthcare providers to react quickly and engages in dialogue with their
colleagues pertaining to certain issues. Emails also provide a platform
for personalized communication between healthcare providers and their
patients. In such a setting, creation of customized content which is
relevant to a specific audience shows that a healthcare organization is
deeply concerned about its patients’ needs.
One aspect of importance and values in the maintenance of patient’s
confidentiality when using emails is its efficiency. This mode of
communication does not only save time, but also the effort needed to
access a patient’s medical record. When compared to the paper-based
method of information storage, emails appear to be efficient in terms of
time and space saving.
Although email is the safest mode of communication in a healthcare
setting, it is not deficient of challenges. One of the challenges
presented by an email is the issue of confidentiality. Healthcare
providers have the duty to safeguard the confidentiality of the patient
by ensuring that patient’s health information is not disclosed
inappropriately. The best to do this is to ensure that only those who
engage directly with the patients have access to their emails. Any
details pertaining to the patient that is stored in the computer should
be protected carefully just as their written record. One of the best
ways to guarantee email confidentiality is by ensuring that the computer
software used by the healthcare provider provides some adequate
security. Additionally, the software used for the email system should
also be protected to prevent any cases of confidentiality breach
whenever emails are sent. Healthcare practitioners can also ensure
confidentiality by complying statutory requirements such as the Data
protection Act (DPA) whenever they store patient’s emails. Finally,
healthcare practitioners are required to use only an official work email
address, as opposed to using their personal ones. This is meant to
maintain the suitable boundaries, as well as, protect their patient’s
One of the main reasons why emails are an effective mode of
communication between providers and consumers is that, it facilitates
the storage of the patient’s health records which is important for
both the patient and the healthcare provider. The difference between
email and other mode of communication is its potential for anonymous
contact. It is also the best means to discuss private concerns as
patients may feel uncomfortable using the face-to-face consultation. In
addition, it allows for re-reading of any medical information. Finally,
emails can be sent to several people or a single person.
Internet-based social networks can facilitate collaboration,
communication, collection and sharing of information in a healthcare
setting. According to a recent research conducted by the American
Medical Association (AMA), more than 20% of Americans seek important
information on health from social networks (Gagnon, Légaré, Labrecque,
Frémont & Pluye, 2009). Social networks enable the transmission of
certain media such as videos, weblogs, audio and podcasts, reviews and
ratings. Some of the most common social networks include Facebook,
Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn and wikis. Just as their growing influence in
other settings, social networks play an extremely crucial role in the
healthcare setting. According to a research by AMA, more than 50% obtain
information about their conditions and therapy in the online platform
(Ye, Rust, Fry-Johnson, & Strothers, 2010). Additionally, more than 60 %
of healthcare professionals use social network for their professional
purpose (Ye, Rust, Fry-Johnson, & Strothers, 2010). Since both
clinicians and consumers use social networks, healthcare institutions
have the chance to increase their influence to a wide audience. As more
and more patients continue using social network to track their medical
conditions, key players in the healthcare setting have the opportunity
to engage the online community and consequently use the data for the
development of new care methods, as well as, new treatment methods.
Currently, more than 5,000 health institutions use social networking and
social media to increase their market (Gagnon et al., 2009). These
institutions find it effective to market their products and services
through social media rather than other media. In addition, they use
social networks and media to communicate to various stakeholders in the
healthcare industry. This proves that social networks have the potential
to produce significant changes in terms of communication in the
healthcare sector.
Email communication can be used to market healthcare products and
services through a number of ways. Currently, there exist a number of
companies which offers email marketing solution to healthcare
practitioners. For instance, a company known as Medical Marketing
service (MMS) is currently providing marketing services for various
companies (Santana, Lausen, Bujnowska-Fedak, Chronaki, Kummervold,
2010). This method of marketing has proved to be highly effective,
up-to-date and accurate marketing tool. When used appropriately,
marketing via email has the potential to reach out to a wide customer
base (Santana et al., 2010)
In conclusion, email communication has proved to be the most effective
mode of communication in health care in terms of speed and efficiency.
The method has continually found application in various healthcare
institutions and has proved to be an efficient method of marketing.
Gagnon, M. P., Légaré, F., Labrecque, M., Frémont, P., Pluye, P.,
Gagnon, J., … & Gravel, K. (2009). Interventions for promoting
information and communication technologies adoption in healthcare
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Santana, S., Lausen, B., Bujnowska-Fedak, M., Chronaki, C., Kummervold,
P. E., Rasmussen, J., & Sorensen, T. (2010). Online communication
between doctors and patients in Europe: status and perspectives. Journal
of medical Internet research, 12(2).
Ye, J., Rust, G., Fry-Johnson, Y., & Strothers, H. (2010). E-mail in
patient–provider communication: A systematic review. Patient education
and counseling, 80(2), 266-273.