Many healthcare providers are using innovative solutions to create timely connections and communications with patients. From 1:1 campaigns to 1:many, we explore how communication has evolved during this unprecedented time of crucial communication.
One of the most widely used technologies we’ve seen during this COVID-19 crisis is self-service broadcast capabilities for sending mass communications. Broadcast messaging use among our clients increased 20-fold in March and April, from 15,000 messages per month to more than 300,000 per month. This makes sense because the broadcast tool is an efficient, fast way to simultaneously send messages to many recipients. Messages can be sent to patients already on the schedule, and to distribution lists that can be uploaded easily.
Self-service broadcast messaging was especially critical when social-distancing and essential business policies first emerged across the U.S. Providers were able to:
- Quickly and easily distribute messages from employees working at home, without needing to run reports or lists outside the broadcast messaging tool.
- Send proactive messages to large numbers of patients at once, reducing inbound calls and delivering updates to patients during this time of uncertainty and change.
For more specific patient communication, providers also pivoted their appointment reminder messages to be an automated way to communicate 1:1. The most frequent types of reminder message updates included:
- Updates about in-office policies for screening patients with temperature readings on intake
- Information about who could attend appointments and visitor limits
- Options for telemedicine visit alternatives.
Digital engagement has many advantages, but we’ve seen the speed and agility of digital tools make a difference in the ability of provider organizations to pivot. In a recent poll of revenue cycle leaders, 69% said they had the technology they needed to connect with patients when the COVID crisis first hit.
Patient communications have and will continue to evolve through the various stages of this unprecedented time. As some offices begin to reopen in careful and cautious ways, vital information can be delivered to patients who may have had to postpone appointments or procedures within the last few months. Automating patient communications can help both patients and practices get back on track.