Communication is imperative to planning, coordination, control, and decision-making. The standard communication process is becoming increasingly insufficient to meet the multidimensional needs of the healthcare industry. The need for advanced communication technology emerges to meet the needs of medical practices. Electronic patient communication is the solution if you want convenient, cost-effective, and fast patient engagement. This article addresses the significant pros and cons of implementing electronic patient communication in healthcare.

What is Electronic Communication?

Electronic communication is a type of modern communication through which messages, files, and other information are shared and transmitted via computers, laptops, mobile devices, telephones, the internet, and other electronic gadgets over networks.

Electronic communication helps providers establish an intimate conversation with their patients while responsibly sharing important healthcare information (images, lab results, prescriptions, or other protected health information) via electronic means. There are pros and cons to utilizing electronic patient communication in healthcare. Here are a few:

Pros of Electronic Patient Communications.

1. Speed and Convenience

Electronic communication is usually prompt and convenient. It allows medical practices to message patients and share information such as appointment details, multimedia messages, and other information or files very quickly.

Electronic patient communication can be instant and is very beneficial as patients can now get information on the go. The speed of vital information can save patients’ lives. For example, a patient with a sudden health problem is savable from a poor outcome with the help of immediate information transmission.

2. Low Cost

Unlike traditional letters, electronic patient communications can save your practice time and money. For example, text messaging is cheaper than conventional mail — text messaging involves minimal to no cost. You can also disseminate urgent and crucial information via text or phone. That eliminates the cost of transportation for your patients whenever they need to ask questions about their prescriptions, appointment details, and other health-related information.

3. Can Catch Patients Anywhere

Electronic communication involves using mobile devices such as cellphones/smartphones, laptops, and tablets. These devices enable patients to always stay in touch with their healthcare providers. They can easily carry these devices around, hence the portability of information and messaging.

This form of communication can enhance the productivity of providers or medical staff who work online. They can do their tasks anywhere, even when they are away from home, on a beach, on a plane, and anywhere else you can think of, encouraging productivity.

Since the mobility of electronic communications enables providers to offer care from anywhere, the same applies to patients. For instance, patients who have health concerns or suddenly need more information about their medications can access their health information via a patient portal or send a text message or email to their provider if they need assistance. There’s no need for an office visit.

Cons of Electronic Patient Communications

1. More Vulnerable to Security Breaches

Security threats are a significant disadvantage of electronic communication. They include cybercriminal attacks and other forms of computer security threats. The statistics show that over 6,000 viruses are created monthly. Without secure telemedicine software, you can lose crucial information to cybercriminals or hackers.

2. Large Volume of Data

The technology that allows patients to keep in touch at all times can be the reason for their dependency on it. Therefore, the volume of telecommunication data you receive may quickly increase at a high rate that your management may not be able to absorb within the relevant time limit.

3. Difficult for Those Who are "Technologically Challenged"

Not everyone knows how to use electronic communication properly. Most of these patients are senior citizens who are unfamiliar with how the system works. Some may still prefer traditional communication, such as using a telephone to make a phone call, while others prefer visiting in person.

Summary of the Pros and Cons



Speed and convenience

More vulnerable to security breaches

Lower costs

Need a way to process large volumes of data

Can catch patients anywhere

Difficult to use for those who are "technologically challenged"

Electronic communication plays a vital role in our everyday lives. By knowing the pros and cons of integrating electronic patient communications into your practice, you can use technology to your advantage. But always be aware of the PHI when using electronic communication. Make sure to follow HIPAA regulations at all times.

Take your practice to the next level by implementing efficient electronic patient communications.

Enhance your engagement and coordination with your patients by upgrading your communication system with Curogram’s HIPAA-compliant telemedicine software. By welcoming electronic patient communications into your system, you can provide a seamless flow of communication in your practice alongside other benefits such as reducing patient no-shows, enhancing patient engagement, and improving patient satisfaction. Contact Curogram today for more information.

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