Still communicating with patients through WhatsApp?
To tackle one of the most significant problems in nutrition services (and the whole healthcare system) which is following up and communicating with patients, making sure they are compliant with their recommendations between appointments, professionals started looking for alternatives and solutions.
Just in time for messaging apps, WhatsApp is a platform used on a global scale, every day, by billions of people. So, why not use it to make sure your patients are doing alright?
And up until now, nutrition professionals do just that. Mixing personal contacts and messages with professional affairs on their mobile phones is nowadays a reality. Which does not always mean the best solution.
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Why do you need a secure and specific platform to chat with patients?
First of all, with GDPR, professionals need to rethink their working method, and make sure their patients' data is safe. That's a priority.
With universal messaging apps, personal contacts are stored in the same place as personal ones, making sensitive information vulnerable.
With a mobile app designed for professionals to keep in touch with their patients, it not only allows to have improved security when assessing sensitive information but also all the info regarding work and leisure are kept separate.
How does a professional app work?
After the appointment a single credential is given to the patient, using an email and a confidential password.
There is no need to share personal information such as the private phone number with clients, communicating with patients is done within working hours and the nutrition professional has the power to manage who accesses the patient's account and how.
If a patient stops seeing that professional or loses their device it is quite easy to delete/block that access. With WhatsApp or other platforms, it is not possible to control or prevent the access of patients (if needed).
How to increase the value of your communication
With an app specialised for nutrition counselling, the main focus is, without a doubt, communicating and following up with patients and keep track of their progress through continuous contact by messages. Additionally, other benefits can be offered.
The possibility to offer patients an app that allows them to receive notifications at meal times and to drink water will significantly increase their commitment to dietary changes, creating space and time for the professional to target other aspects of the compliance.
Tracking physical activity, knowing and comparing those recommendations given by the professional allows patients to be more accountable.
Another significant problem with the healthcare sector is the lack of a quick and easy way for the patient to confirm or reschedule appointments from anywhere. With a mobile app that has everything they need, including the ability to notify the professional about attendance in appointments allows a significant relationship to be created and the problem to be assessed on the spot.
Should you, or should you not change?
The main problem with Whatsapp merely put, is that for most people, is not strictly for business. There’s a reason why personal and business emails and separate phone numbers exist (or used to).
For professionals, it is vital to have boundaries to where work ends and personal time begins, especially when you have a private practice and work is never "done for the day".
For patients, it is essential to have a secure platform where their personal information is stored safely, and they know that only an authorised professional will have access to it.
So the answer is yes. Changing to a platform that will allow you to provide better care to patients will improve their trust, their results and also will improve your effectiveness.
Ultimately, that improvement will reflect on the nutrition professional's workflow as well. Allowing time to improve their skills and patients to be more engaged by offering a device that not only improves communication but is specially designed for the purpose, nutritional counselling.
See what features Nutrium can offer you
Check other features that can make your work easier and improve your clients' nutritional care.
If you want to check the mobile app that makes communicating with your patients easy and that can offer the next level of follow-up make sure you check our nutrition software, Nutrium.
A software for nutrition professionals that offers the most up-to-date tools for nutritional counselling.
Sign up here and enjoy our 14-day free trial to learn all about it.