During stressful times, patients are often unsure of how to reach out to medical practices for guidance, and practices can struggle to keep their patients updated.
Many healthcare providers have started to integrate text messaging services and secure messaging solutions in order to manage their time more effectively, while also strengthening patient relationships. Here are some ways you can use text messaging to help your practice:
Auto responses help set an expectation for your patients. They’ll be informed on how long of a wait to expect, and if you’re experiencing high call or text volumes, you can easily let them know by sending this information straight to their mobile devices.
Sending auto-responses is an effective way that lets patients know their messages have been received. Providing that relief to patients is a simple way to assure them their text will be addressed as soon as possible.
Templates make it much easier to respond to patients to answer frequently asked questions with relevant health information through sms messages. By creating templates for your staff to send out you can cut time on repetitive patient messages. You’ll be able to keep up with multiple conversations for rescheduling and respond to common questions with the click of a button.
Custom fields help you show the recipient a real person is reaching out to assist them. Opt to use your own name when sending the message, and the opening line should greet the patient with their name. Then, move forward with patient communication that is specific to their concern.
For many practices, texting your patients helps mitigate the stress of trying to reschedule in-person appointments. Make it easy by providing alternative dates, or list the various schedule options they have available to them.
You can save time calling and playing phone tag by making use of text and send their options straight to their smartphones. Remember to stay flexible and provide as many options as you can to assure your patients they have not been forgotten.
Sending an appointment reminder alerts and confirmations to your patients lets them know that you’re still waiting and are ready to assist them. A text reminder can help them feel reassured that they’re being taken care of. It’s important to have an option for two-way texting so the patient can reach out to make changes to their appointment if needed.
External Waiting Rooms
With patient text messaging, you can move your waiting rooms online or to the parking lot as you can keep your patients informed on when they are ready to be seen. You can text patients to arrive 10 minutes before their appointment and send instructions for what to do when they arrive and how to check in. It’s also possible to move your appointments or meetings online. By using tools like Zoom or Health Myself, you can meet with your patients securely online. Text them a quick message with a link to the call and meet in confidentiality real-time and virtually.
Updates on Safety Procedures
Let your patients know how you’re changing operations, how you plan on providing your services, and how you’ve adapted new safety procedures to maintain integrity and uphold safeguards. You should notify your patients of any changes to the hours of operation so they know when to reach out to you.
Some public health and healthcare organizations have shifted to a Work-From-Home system, where nurses or staff can choose to work in isolation.
Practices can simplify communication by using a unified messaging platform where all staff can chat with patients and each other. By having internal communication on a shared interface it helps staff stay connected. Making sure everyone feels in the loop is important to stay productive.
We’d like to express our gratitude to all those in medical fields who continue to provide healthcare assistance for our communities. These are difficult times that, thankfully, will pass. Our goal is to help streamline the process for all practices to stay in touch with their patients and help alleviate any additional pains that come along with the strain of COVID-19.
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