While in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare practices are grappling with the challenge of how best to maintain recurring appointment cadences without compromising the well-being of their patient’s health, and those around them by meeting face-to-face.
At GrowthPlug we understand how challenging this can be. That’s why we thought of sharing a resource to help the healthcare community efficiently navigate these difficult times due to Coronavirus. We cover everything from staying in touch, securing virtual doctor-patient communication, and the best practices for determining if in-person care actually needs to take place.
Check out the tips below for some best practices on communicating with your patients during the Coronavirus.
Don’t be a stranger
Now more than ever, it’s time to give your healthcare practice’s email marketing some love. When you send regular email newsletter updates to your patients, you’ll establish your practice as trustworthy and ahead of the curve while reminding your patients why they should trust you with their health in the first place. Email newsletters should cover recent developments of COVID-19 pertaining to your geographic area, address any common misconceptions about the virus, sending reminders on the best practices to stay safe, and daily updates on which services you can offer to help.
We are definitely not talking about the iPhone app. Your practice should offer a method of virtual real-time communication for your patients and the best practices to comply with federal regulations. Remember it needs to be HIPAA compliant (read all about that here). There are some good options out there such as Doxy.me. It has a Free Forever plan along with some other upgrades, but you can also consider a number of other tools out there. Ultimately, it is important to find the one that best meets your business needs.
Aside from offering telehealth options, you can also educate your patients on how to self diagnose. This can be a simple decision tree you might send in an email newsletter or a quick online survey they can fill out as part of a virtual consult request.
The cold hard truth
After every interaction, ask for feedback! This is very important, especially in times like these when the new normal is constantly evolving. Using GrowthPlug’s reputation management tools, you can ask for feedback by email or text, and even offer the opportunity for your patients to leave reviews on social media when things go well. This will establish your practice as one of the most trustworthy ones in your area.
It is crucial to ask questions that will give you a holistic understanding of how effective your patients thought the telehealth appointment was when addressing their concerns.
Here’s a sample survey you might decide to use:
- How likely are you to recommend Dr. Awesome to a friend or family member?
- Was this your first telehealth appointment with this or any doctor?
- Overall, how satisfied were you with your telehealth visit today?
- How would you rate the care you received during your telehealth visit today?
- How easy was it to schedule your telehealth appointment at a time convenient for you?
- How would you rate the audio and video quality of the telehealth service used for your appointment?
- How would you rate the ease of the use of the telehealth platform?
- How interested would you be in continuing to use telehealth for appointments?
- Overall, how did your telehealth visit compare in quality to past in-person visits?
- Is there anything else you would like to share?
During these unusual times, it’s important to quell the concerns of your patients by continuing to offer the same level of health care, even if it’s being delivered virtually. We hope this guide will give your practice some peace of mind. Together we will get through this.