Mar 30, 2020 2:03:14 PM Karna Morrow, CPC, RCC, CCS-P, Implementation Manager

Key Ways to Stay Connected With Your Patients During Key Times

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We text, tweet, post messages and are otherwise connected with our peers, friends, and family 24/7. Everyone is connected to some device that allows instant access to their social world. Don’t forget that “everyone” includes your patients. It can be easy to stereotype a certain demographic as too old for that. You may feel that a certain percentage of your patients aren’t into the electronic communication world. It may be time for a new perspective.

AARP published an article 2019 Tech Trends and the 50+ over a year ago confirming that the popular misconceptions of older consumers not being tech savvy are clearly out of touch with current reality and future trends. Their findings would indicate that 83 percent of patients between 50 and 64 have smartphones and 91 percent routinely use computers. Specifically, 94 percent of respondents over the age of 50 use technology to text or email someone every day.

Capturing your patient’s email accounts is the pathway to leveraging the power of a patient portal.  The portal is the gateway to reducing routine phone calls into the front desk. Consider the number of calls to request a medication refill. These aren’t managed by the front desk, so the task is assigned to someone else – another ‘touch.’ Encourage your patients to take control of that task with a message directly into the nursing team. Manage time at the front desk more efficiently by allowing patients to request an appointment from the portal. If a patient does not yet have an email account, or perhaps only has a business account that they do not want to use for a medical portal, remember several vendors offer a free email account.

The email is also an instant pathway to reaching your patients when the message is a little longer than just a text and significantly cheaper than a mailer. Think about an announcement about a new provider or something as straightforward as a change in office policy or hours. Today many practices are scrambling for ways to quickly and efficiently reach out to patients for reassurance.  Promptly let your patients know about your efforts to keep them safe against the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Each EHR system will have a specific process for generating a list of patient emails that can be then incorporated into a mailing. For our Practice EHR clients, a separate email has been shared with the instructions for generating an exportable list of patient emails. 

These are unique times and it is important your patients can separate fact from fear. We are here to help you get the right message to the right patients.

Topics: Healthcare Office Management, digital age

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