Reflecting on the current landscape, Tom Baldock foresees health organisations and Trusts experiencing a seismic shift in how they manage care, especially regarding how we improve communication with patients.
If recent events have taught us anything, it is that flexible and technology-driven communication strategies are here to stay. With in-person visits being limited or even impossible, healthcare providers turned to telehealth and other forms of remote communication to deliver care to their patients. This shift has revealed some best practices for communicating with patients using technology to help providers deliver more patient-centric care.
Tom has a firsthand understanding of the role patient-oriented communication plays in determining the success of the national health response. He has witnessed the positive impact of Synertec's state-of-the-art technology in assisting the NHS in its fight against Covid-19. Synertec's cutting-edge document automation technology enabled them to send vaccine invitation letters and text message reminders to recipients across the United Kingdom.
Having extensive knowledge in Complete Document Control and long-standing partnerships with NHS Trusts throughout England and Wales for over two decades, Synertec was fundamental in the NHS' rapid and efficient vaccination rollout.
“As an industry, we need to shift how communication is managed. We must tailor our approach to ensure that we capture patient preferences and deliver on how they want to be communicated. To meet this demand, Synertec provides solutions that enable patients to set how they want to be communicated with.”
“For our partners, this allows Trusts to ensure they deliver communications in the best way for patients. In this way, patients remain the primary decision-makers in their care – both in terms of how they receive it and how they respond."
For patients to respond and engage in their care, they require better access. Specifically, access that meets their unique social and contextual needs. If health providers fail to meet these, they can only expect their patient populations to experience poorer outcomes over time.
As such, Tom and key members of the business are working with Trusts to make patients the centre of their own care - and keep them there. Synertec is doing this by considering all of the ‘nuances that affect each patient demographic’ and creating strategies around unmet patient need:
“Digital poverty is prevalent in certain parts of the country, meaning reaching patients through email or smartphones might not be possible. We learned this from the pandemic and how we’ve moved forward since”
“We’re now working closely with Trusts and Systems to make sure they can continue to connect with communities across every region; in whatever way makes sense to the patient”
The Foundation for System-Wide Efficiencies is Good Communication
Certainly, unlike other businesses where poor communication may result in reduced profits, in healthcare, this can have dire consequences for patient outcomes. Misdiagnoses and other medical errors stemming from communication failures can lead to avoidable health complications - and even patient fatalities.
According to a paper published by the Care Quality Commission, it has been estimated that 27% of medical malpractice over the past 10 years has been caused by poor communication – subsequently costing the NHS around £1.1 Billion in this time period.
On a similar note, Tom takes this as a sign for Systems to look into how they can prevent seeing additional costs down the line. He uses the example of Trusts moving to become completely paperless.
“Only sending digital communications to patients may eventually cost the NHS more money. If a patient is unable to receive emails, their Trust will have to send two types of communication to achieve the same result.’
Addressing this issue improves the overall patient experience and cost-savings for Trusts and systems. Tom adds that in light of this, Synertec’s approach is “to prioritise flexibility around what patients need” and help providers to make this a reality:
‘We advise on different formats of communication, depending on demographics, deprivation and digital poverty levels, potentially the age group and how savvy they are to digital communication.’
As a partner of this year's Health Systems Patient Flow Summit 2023, Synertec recognises the value of providers sharing their expertise in optimising the system-wide patient experience. Tom, highlights the importance of increased "contact", "communication", and "in-depth discussions" facilitated by events like the Patient Flow Summit in driving system-wide innovation forward.
In discussing Synertec's future plans, Tom emphasises the company's belief that effective communication is fundamental to providing high-quality healthcare. Synertec's approach is focused on empowering patients, promoting health equity, and simplifying communication between healthcare providers and patients. The company is proud to contribute to this important work and remains committed to innovating in this space.
To learn more, get in touch with the Synertec Team at: firstname.lastname@example.org