41AMGA.ORG JUNE 2019
Telehealth and patient
expectations for convenience
By Keith Dressler, D.D.S., M.S.D.
It might be surprising to learn that 96% of complaints voiced in online reviews of physicians focus more on patient experience and poor communications than on a physician’s skill or a misdiagnosis. 1 This shocking statistic comes from a 2016 study that looked at nearly 35,000
reviews. Patients are demanding change to the traditional
provider relationship, and telehealth conveniences will help
providers meet these demands.
Defined broadly, telehealth encompasses a wide range
of digital activities that ultimately lead to improved patient
health and outcomes. A telehealth platform provides a practice with operational efficiencies that not only save time but
also enhance the patient experience.
An effective telehealth communications platform should
bring together short message service (SMS) text messaging,
multimedia messages, Facebook Messenger communications,
and other social media platforms. To be widely adopted by
patients, the communications platform itself must be easy
to use and include Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy protections.