6 MINUTE READ
Technology has transformed how people from all over the world consume information. Today’s preferred methods of communication are vastly different than the technologies people were using five years ago. This change forces companies to continuously shift the way that they reach their consumers. The healthcare industry is not immune to these changes. Despite challenges such as HIPAA compliance, data breaches, and sensitive patient health information (PHI), the entire healthcare realm has had to adopt to modern technologies while still remaining compliant, protecting their data, and maintaining the privacy of patient information.
Today, patients want to communicate with their providers via their mobile devices, whether it be a patient portal, mobile app, secure emails, or text messages. Despite the popularity of text messaging, there is still a lack of adoption for sending patients information via text. This is for a few reasons. As mentioned previously, chiropractors need to take extra precautions when communicating with patients in this manner, primarily for compliance reasons.
CHALLENGES FOR PROVIDERS
Doctors face a lot of challenges when implementing a program that allows patients to receive text messages, as well as respond to those messages:
1.PROVIDERS NEED A TOOL THAT INTEGRATES INTO THEIR PRACTICE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
If it doesn’t, then your staff will have to spend time re-entering patient information, appointment changes, and follow-up appointments. Having two separate systems in place creates an inefficient workspace for you and your staff.
2. THE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF TIME IT TAKES FOR YOU AND YOUR STAFF TO MONITOR MESSAGES
If messages are being sent, someone needs to be there to respond. This requires monitoring messages that have gone out to your patients, viewing their responses, sending back information, and updating information in your scheduling software.
3.HIPAA COMPLIANCE AND PATIENT HEALTH INFORMATION (PHI) CANNOT BE FORGOTTEN
There are limits and regulations about what information can be sent and communicated between patients and their doctors. As a chiropractor, when you are using a tool that communicates information to your patients via a text message, it is imperative that you make sure the tool is secure and compliant. Although there are strict regulations, it is possible to follow these legal requirements with the right tool.
It might seem like a lot of work to get a program like this up and running – not only paying for it, but learning how to implement the software, training staff, and ensuring that you are being compliant. So, you might be asking yourself, “what is the ROI for all of that work?” If you have the right tool in place that can integrate into your practice management software, then you are setting yourself up for increased revenue. Here’s how:
REDUCE THE NUMBER OF MISSED APPOINTMENTS
There will always be times when a patient misses an appointment, but you can drastically reduce that number by making it as easy as possible for patients to receive a reminder of that appointment or to reschedule.
FILL IN SCHEDULING GAPS
That same patient that rescheduled their appointment left an opening in your schedule. This gives you a chance to easily send out a text to a select group that says you are welcoming walk-ins for the next few hours. You can offer a small special to encourage them to come in for a quick adjustment, too!
STAY AT THE TOP OF YOUR PATIENTS’ MIND
When you communicate with your patients the way they want to be communicated with, you make a positive impression. People like options. Giving your patients the option to reach you in a convenient way enables you to be more top of mind.
INCREASE YOUR PROFITS
This could be the most important benefit of all! More patients in the door at a more consistent rate means more revenue. Not only can this type of service help you retain your patients, but it can also help to keep the flow of your patients consistent.
LET’S SAY YOU HAVE 500 INACTIVE PATIENTS. IF YOU CAN RE-BOOK ABOUT 20% OF THESE PATIENTS FOR TWO MONTHLY VISITS, AT $45 PER VISIT, YOU COULD GENERATE $9,000 IN ADDITIONAL REVENUE EACH MONTH.
REACH THEM THE WAY THEY WANT!
Text messaging is a preferred communication for most consumers. Communicating with your patients in this way offers convenience for the provider, staff, and patient. Patients can easily reschedule their appointments and receive reminders about upcoming ones, making your practice easily accessible when you pop up in their minds. This not only gives your patients a positive impression about the way your run your practice. It is also much easier than having your staff call each patient to remind them about their appointments!
Are you interesting in learning more about keeping lifelong patients and using a patient engagement tool to accomplish these tasks? Check out our infographic on how to retain your patients!