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Practice Management

Raise Patient Engagement to the Next Level: 3 Ways to Cultivate Communication and Connection

Pediatric patients and their parents are becoming more familiar with the intricacies of virtual appointments. However, there are still many different platforms that providers can choose from when implementing telehealth services into their practice. Unfortunately, that means scheduling, checking in for, and utilizing telehealth appointments are not “one size fits all.” You want your patients to be familiar and comfortable with your virtual care platform.

Routine communication between your practice and your patients is a crucial element in preparing your patients to have a positive, effective telehealth experience. People can access information with the simple click of a button, but that doesn’t mean they are finding accurate guidance.

When it comes to the families you serve, it’s crucial that the direction they receive online is reliable, without contributing to information overload. The correspondence you share with your patients and their parents should be accessible, noticeable, and helpful. Are you wondering how to connect with your patients and their families? Let’s explore methods to provide them with the information they need to take care of themselves, all while being successful when using telehealth technology.

Regularly Communicate with Parents and Patients

Families appreciate having consistent communication from their doctor. Regular correspondence between your practice and your patients encourages them to be on the lookout for your messages. They will be more likely to check their emails on the days your newsletter goes out, listen to their voicemails when they see they have a missed call from your office, and open your text messages.

We know it can be difficult to keep content fresh and informative, but here are some ideas to assist you in determining useful communication topics.

  • Provide appointment reminders.
  • Send out monthly newsletters that pertain to the seasons — both weather and holidays.
  • Offer suggestions for how to stay healthy during flu season, manage stress and candy consumption around the holidays and give vacation travel tips.

There are various methods of communication, including email, text, and online platforms, such as websites and social media. Ready to learn more? The following three strategies can be adapted to better serve your patients and their parents.

Use Email Marketing for Patient Communication

Almost everyone has an email address. However, not everyone wants to share their address for fear of spam and promotional emails clogging up their free space. Having emails come from a reputable sender helps emails go where your patients will see them and encourages them to provide their email address when asked.

Does your electronic medical record (EMR) have an email marketing function? If so, it can be a great tool to regularly send reminders about available services and health-related tips and tricks to implement this upcoming fall and winter season.

If your EMR does not have this function, there are free and inexpensive email marketing tools available to help you craft messages to parents and patients. You should be able to easily export email addresses from the EMR to upload them into the email marketing platform. In addition, Anytime Pediatrics has informative marketing materials that you can utilize within your newsletters to help foster patient education.

Implement Text Message Alerts for Immediate Updates

While COVID-19 has taken viruses from seasonal to perennial, we are still coming up to the cooler fall and winter months when typical viruses and illnesses begin to emerge. Consider text message alerts during high-volume times when certain conditions like rash, pink eye, and flu are only being seen and triaged via telemedicine. Especially during these situations, it’s important that your patients know how to quickly and easily reach you.

It’s also helpful to have text message alerts when immediate updates are necessary. For example, if your phone lines are temporarily unavailable or your office closes due to inclement weather, text messages are an effective way to update families.

Optimize Your Website and Social Media Platforms

Patients and parents still take to Google to answer any and all questions. It’s ideal if your website comes up in their search results so that they can receive first-hand information from you. Having all the aforementioned information available online helps to streamline communication and allows families to receive it at their own pace and convenience.

When you partner with Anytime Pediatrics, the virtual service packages include a landing page that you can customize for your website. Additionally, having medical information and articles about common seasonal viruses, allergies, and illnesses linked on your social media pages can be an excellent resource for your patients.

Determining the type of content to post and what information you want to provide to patients about the services your practice offers is the first step in fostering communication and connection between your practice and your patients. Families will appreciate education on how to protect their mental and physical health as we move into the fall and winter seasons. In-office appointment availability may be reduced as common illnesses return. Preparing them for how to use telehealth appointments in this timeframe will be helpful in maintaining excellent patient care.

Take the Next Step with Anytime Pediatrics

Anytime Pediatrics offers marketing materials to assist you in your communication and education efforts. For more information, contact us today to request a consultation.