Communication Modalities Technology is becoming more and more advanced as each year passes by and with that comes numerous different ways of being able to communicate with each other besides in person, over the phone, or through the postal mail. There are about 6. 9 billion people around the world connected to the internet and many of them connect using gadgets such as iPads or smart phones along with the usual desktop or laptop computers (Internet World Stats, 2011).
The internet is the source of so much information and also allows individuals to communicate with each other through email, in real time through chat, and through social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. It is no wonder that the health care industry also would like to take part in this advanced and growing technology.
This paper will discuss the benefits of using the internet and email as a communication modality in health care, how this form of communication differs from other forms of communication, the effects of social networking in health care, and how the internet and email can be used to market different health care products. Internet and Email in Health Care Using the internet to look up important information and also share information is a great benefit to anyone in any industry.
Health care websites such as www. webmd. com provides legitimate and knowledgeable health care information. More health care organizations and physicians’ offices are also jumping on the internet bandwagon by creating their own websites that provide consumers important information like office hours, physician profiles, health care facts, and even ways for patients to request an office visit without having to pick up a phone.
Some physician offices even send monthly office newsletters through email to all patients who provide email addresses during their initial visit. On Kaiser Permanente’s website (www. kp. org), patients are able to view their medical records online, email their primary care physician, submit a prescription refill request, and even monitor their health care coverage and plan (Kaiser Permanente, 2011). Being able to use the internet to connect with patients is beneficial and convenient not only for the health care systems but also for the patients.
What used to take time and energy either waiting on the phone to connect with a doctor or waiting in line at the pharmacy just to drop off a prescription now takes just a few clicks of the mouse and that is it. Of course, with the HIPAA law in place, health care organizations must also be very careful with PHI (protected health information). Websites and emails with protected health information are encrypted so that no one is able to view the encrypted message except for the patient.
With more health care organizations and providers reaching out to their patients and consumers through the internet and email it shows that this type of communication is very effective and also very convenient for consumers and providers both. How is this different? Using internet websites and sending information through email is not much different than what health care providers used to do but it is much more convenient and quicker than before. Information is also easier and more accessible than before. Consumers are able to access information on their own time.
Providers are able to send patient information quicker through email than the couple of days it used to take by postal mail. Searching for a health care organization’s phone number or address takes less time using the internet than it does looking it up in the yellow pages. Health care organizations are also using social networking media to provide consumers with important information such as health care seminars and even information on health care positions available for those who are seeking job placement.
Facebook and Twitter are great social networking sites that many different health care providers are using to provide important, non-PHI information to the public. Palomar Pomerado Health in Escondido, CA has their own Facebook page that provides newsworthy updates to their followers about different positions that are available, the latest information on innovative patient-centered care, and also important information regarding their new hospital of the future that will be opening summer of 2012 (Facebook, 2011).
Social media is allowing important health care information more accessible for consumers and in this day in age, convenience and ease are what consumers want. Health care providers are becoming more technically advanced allowing consumers to receive important information at the click of a mouse. The convenience and ease of obtaining information and communicating with one another is what consumers want. Providers are taking full advantage of using the internet, email, and social networking sites all while keeping HIPAA and PHI in mind so that violations will not take place.
As technology becomes more advanced throughout the years, it will be beneficial for health care providers to continue advancing in the way they communicate so they will not get left behind. References Facebook. (2011). Palomar Pomerado Health. Retrieved from http://www. facebook. com/#! /pages/Palomar-Pomerado-Health/103524089983 Internet World Stats. (2011). Internet Users in the World. Retrieved from http://www. internetworldstats. com/stats. htm Kaiser Permanente. (2011). . Retrieved from https://www. kaiserpermanente. org/