In any type of medical practice, many hours are spent on the phone with patients. One way to reduce the amount of time on this task is to move from individual phone calls to group email or text messages. Many times the information relayed over a phone call, such as an office closure, is the same for multiple patients. One text or email message can be created and sent to each patient who will need the information. This ensures that every patient receives the information without the practice staff being tied to the phone with a list of phone numbers to call.
One way to utilize group text messages is to fill unexpected cancellations in the schedule. When a patient cancels their appointment, one text message can be written and sent to every patient who has indicated they are interested in filling last-minute openings. In a matter of minutes, every patient on the wait list can be notified of the open appointment slot, and those that are able to fill it can contact the practice. This improves office efficiency because office staff are free to complete other tasks, and it increases revenue by ensuring the schedule stays full.
Another convenient way to contact multiple patients with one message is through email. A practice may send educational material to patients who have been diagnosed with particular medical conditions. This information can quickly be distributed with a single email message sent to patients with an applicable diagnosis.
Group email messages can also be used to distribute practice announcements. A short email with general practice information or educational material that would be beneficial to all patients (such as a change in practice hours or general health tips) can be sent to all patients at regular intervals. This keeps the line of communication between patients and their providers open, so when the time comes to schedule an appointment the patient doesn’t choose another provider.
Staying connected is an important part of maintaining and growing a patient base, but it doesn’t have to be time consuming. Taking advantage of sending one message to multiple patients can decrease the time spent on patient communication, but still produce the desired results of a strong relationship between a patient and their healthcare provider.