Five Informative Text Messages For Patient Communication
Communicating important information to patients is a vital part of great medical care.
Calling multiple patients on the phone takes time, ties up office staff, and can be inconvenient for patients. In some instances, communicating through text messages is a better option. There’s less chance of a written message being misunderstood. Phone calls, especially when they are rushed, don’t always provide enough information.
Technology allows both mass and personalized text and email messages to be sent as needed. Here are five messages that can and probably should be sent by text.
1. Office Closures and Emergency Information
When the office has to close unexpectedly because of inclement weather, power outages, or other unusual situations, all patients with appointments need to know as soon as possible.
The ability to send out mass notifications in an emergency is a valuable asset.
Texting the information to everyone who is affected by the closure or emergency will take only minutes, and patients will appreciate the heads-up.
Additional information can be sent in follow-up texts to keep everyone in the loop. Knowing what’s going on reduces the stress on everyone.
2. Appointment Reminders
Letting patients know that they are expected is reassuring. This is an opportunity to remind them not to eat or drink prior to testing, and to mention any special instructions.
New patients may not know where to go or how to check in upon arrival. Make them feel welcome by providing this information in a text message. Links to any needed paperwork can be included in the message. Reducing the stress of an appointment is always in the best interest of the patient and helps providers, too.
Always include a phone number for those patients who have questions about the upcoming visit and prefer to speak to a person.
3. Scheduling Routine Visits/Rebooking Missed Appointments
Reminding patients to schedule appointments for annual and post-treatment checkups is easy with a text!
Rescheduling after a no-show is just good patient care. It lets the patient know that they are valued and reminds them that keeping appointments is critical to their health and well-being.
Include a link to the online scheduling system in the text, along with that all-important phone number to speak to a receptionist if that’s what the patient prefers.
Texting allows patients to check their calendars before committing to an appointment time, which should reduce the number of missed appointments in the future. The patient will appreciate the chance to plan ahead, and you will appreciate how easy it is to get those appointments scheduled.
4. Scheduling Tests and Specialist Visits
Going home with instructions to have further tests or procedures done can be overwhelming. Finding a specialist is sometimes intimidating. Send a referral by text to facilitate making those appointments.
Texting the links helps ensure compliance with the doctor’s orders. Phone numbers for each facility give extra encouragement to follow up with the needed visits.
The PCP virtual receptionist can easily provide all the information needed to ensure that every patient gets proper care from every provider.
5. Preventative Care Suggestions and Health Alerts
Time to think about flu shots? Is there an upcoming community education event or a blood drive that you want to promote? Are there special health screenings at the local hospital this month? Is COVID making a comeback in the area?
All of these important messages can be easily communicated by text. The details of what, when, and where can be sent out in time for patients to plan ahead.
Links to websites with more information are appreciated. If an appointment is needed, this is a great place to find the link to schedule it. It’s a great way to remind clients that you always have their best interests in mind!
In Addition To Using A Medical Virtual Receptionist
This is a valuable tool to have when you need to get a message out quickly. And it helps maintain open lines of communication with your patients.
Multiple physicians and medical practices have enjoyed our professional virtual service to send messages out to their clients, which has saved time and energy for their staff.
Using a medical virtual receptionist or a hospital answering service can improve communication with patients. And better communication improves patient compliance and care. It allows office staff to concentrate on caring for the people who are in front of them instead of playing phone tag to get information where it needs to go.
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