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Maintaining patient touchpoints over time can change lives

Posted by Morgan Tracy on Feb 21, 2019 2:00:00 PM

As a Maternity Nurse Navigator at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, I’m available to provide support to expectant mothers, whether that’s explaining what to expect at pregnancy checkups, helping to create a birth plan or reviewing breastfeeding options. A few weeks ago, I was able to get an expectant mother the care she needed—a need she had expressed in response to one of our Early Childhood patient education emails.

I received a secure message from a woman currently receiving our automated weekly education messages. She was 27 weeks pregnant and didn’t know where to turn to get prenatal care. She thought that she couldn’t get access to care without current identification cards. She wasn’t able to travel to renew her identification, and she didn’t know what to do to get her questions answered—and the care that she and her baby needed.

Our team sends automated weekly emails to touch base with expectant and new moms to help them prepare for childbirth and provide optimal care for their children. This woman was receiving messages about raising her toddler and used the connection to reach out.

Continued connections build trust and extend support

I received the secure message and called her to make a direct connection. After hearing her story, I was able to arrange an appointment for the prenatal care that she needed.

This patient saw Wesley as a trusted resource because of the ongoing outreach from us; the secure messaging in the email built a bridge to a person who could help. “Thank you so much,” the patient told me. “This is why I always choose Wesley for my healthcare.” After I arranged her care, I was excited to be able to meet with her in person at a Community Baby Shower, a local event that focuses on providing resources such as diapers and safe-sleep education to our new and expectant mothers.

It’s so rewarding to help patients get the care that they need. Our weekly emails are a big part of the way we build long-term connections with our patients. It’s not just a convenient way to deliver info, but an ongoing reminder that we are always there for them, whether it’s between appointments or after they deliver their baby.

The connections made through digital messaging can have a real and important impact on patients’ lives. Pregnancy is just the start of the relationship between a new mother and her healthcare provider. Fostering the relationship through infancy, early childhood and beyond strengthens the connections between patients, practices and the hospital itself, leading to better outcomes and better care.

Read more about how digital engagement helps hospitals provide a better patient experience.

Topics: patient activation, Improving Patient Outcomes, Patient Experience, Guest Blog