How is appointment reminders helpful for healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Patient communication in the U.S. has increased dramatically. The rate of appointment cancellation and shift to telehealth has also increased. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4 in 10 U.S. adults are avoiding medical care because of concerns related to COVID-19. Most of those delaying or avoiding care or healthcare providers are people with underlying medical conditions, or people with disabilities. This implies your patients need assurance for their health during this pandemic. As their provider you can offer encouragement to take control and action over their healthcare.
As hospitals and healthcare providers seek a steady ground to handle the concerns of their staff and patients, appointment reminder apps have gained popularity. They have become a commendable solution to manage both in-person and virtual healthcare visits as well as appointment reminders to manage reschedules and cancellations.
An appointment reminder is an easy-to-use online platform that you can integrate with your existing calendar and databases. You can schedule automatic appointment reminders to alert patients of openings for the COVID-19 vaccines, when their next shot is due or approaching, and even offer aftercare suggestions. Appointmentreminders.com is a HIPAA compliant system, meaning it meets the requirements of protecting data transmitted between patients and service providers. Below are five great ways you can start using appointment reminders right now.
What kind of communications are healthcare providers making with Appointmentreminders.com?
1. Enlightening your patients
Patients entrust their well-being into your hands as a healthcare provider. Therefore, you have to educate them concerning COVID-19 issues especially concerning the services you provide for them. Keep your patients informed with the appointment reminder service. For example:
Debunking misleading information and settling uncertainty. With the mix of truth and lies about COVID-19, your patients look to you for facts. Send them messages to clear confusion and remember to cite and include links to credible sources.
Educate patients. As you prepare patients looking forward to visiting your facility, you can leverage the power of appointment reminders to provide important insights about COVID-19. A quick tip is to add a link to a COVID-19 resource.
Share preventive care information to vulnerable patients. They could be at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus. These patients could be diabetic or 60+ years of age. Use appointment reminders to communicate precautions they can take to be safe.
Communicate extended healthcare services. An overwhelmed patient might inquire more, but you can use an appointment reminder messaging service to inform them about any extended healthcare service your facility is offering. Some of them could be in-person appointments, telehealth consultations, or a dedicated helpline for patients who feel exposed to COVID-19.
Share COVID-19 resource center. It’s a good practice to share information about where patients can get updates on the coronavirus without relying exclusively on your messages.
2. Provide virtual waiting rooms
Even with adequate social distance in physical waiting rooms, some patients are fearful as they may either contract or transmit COVID-19. Hospitals and healthcare providers are using appointment reminders to create virtual waiting rooms to allow patients to send a message upon arrival. Once arrived, patients can then wait for the service provider to usher them in when ready to serve them. Others are also asking patients to wait in their car and then will send them a text message when their care provider is ready to see them. Our system is perfect for either set-up.
3. Healthcare Providers are accepting telehealth appointments
Telehealth appointments allow hospitals and healthcare providers to offer patient care in cases where patients don’t need to travel to a health facility. Virtual access to doctors reduces exposure to COVID-19 risks to both patients and their doctors.
Remind patients about their upcoming telehealth visits. Ask them to have the recommended tool for your virtual meeting installed on their device and ensure everything is configured correctly. Here is a sample message for a telehealth visit.
4. Manage reschedules and cancellations
The influx from usual patient demands, COVID-19 tests and patient care is overwhelming hospitals and health care providers. They may cancel any non-essential medical in-person visits and elective medical procedures and priority given to emergency cases.
The appointment reminder program will efficiently help you manage reschedules and cancellations whether they are initiated by health care providers or patients. It helps you communicate to patients in time about the cancellation and rescheduling of their appointments.
5. Connect with quarantine patients
Quarantined patients and potential infection cases are confined in their homes. Appointment reminder allows you to schedule virtual appointments with them so you can help to assess their situations. Healthcare providers can easily monitor the symptoms of their patients and their progress when they are under medical care.
The two-way messaging capability of the appointment reminder app allows healthcare providers to exchange SMS messages with patients. This is beneficial because you can have time to find out more about the patient’s condition based on whatever they share via the SMS before you meet them virtually.