5 Ways To Reduce Telephone Traffic

Many clinics have seen a rise in phone calls because of COVID-19. Phone bills have increased with more inbound and more outbound calls.  Patients telephone to reschedule appointments. Others want information about getting tested for COVID-19. And this is in addition to the regular phone calls clinics normally receive. To help alleviate strain on staff caused by higher call volumes, healthcare teams can adopt several solutions to reduce this phone traffic.

Online booking – Realtime online bookings for appointment can revolutionize clinics. Up to 65% of all calls to clinics are about appointments – booking, cancelling, and checking times. Think how much time online booking can save you and your patients. Patients appreciate convenient and user-friendly self-scheduling tools.  Online booking allows them to book from their phone, tablet, desktop, or an app.

Self-scheduling has been shown to improve no show rates, patient loyalty and office efficiency and is working for you 24 hours a day.

Online payments – Collecting payments is not usually a job that anyone loves. Integrate online payments into your online bookings to give patients an end to end experience. This allows clinics to reduce debtors by taking payments at the time of booking.

Payment links – payment links are instant and easy to send to patients reducing time spent on the phone. So, you do not have to wait while patients search for their credit card. Receipts are automated.

This will save your office staff valuable time throughout the day without letting important practice revenue slip through the cracks.

Secure messaging – Current advice from the Data Protection Office and the ICGP IT group, is that clinical information should NEVER be transmitted by text.  Email communication remains subject to risks and is not suitable to share clinical information or paperwork such as sick notes.

Secure messaging unlike SMS messaging and email is GDPR compliant. It allows the sharing of clinical information.  It is encrypted end to end at rest and in transit and allows an easy way to communicate with patients at home. Telephone numbers are not displayed, and groups of patients can be messaged without seeing other members in the group. Because it is cloud based you can access it from any internet connected device. Our consumer base is changing, and a lot of our patients are millennials.

This is a natural form of communication for these digital natives.

Covid-19 Triage – automated Covid-19 triage can be sent to your patients to complete prior to their clinic visit. It alerts the clinician when a patient has failed the triage protecting you, your staff, and other patients.

Remote check in – As patients cautiously return to the clinic for in-office visits, managing your waiting room capacity is essential for patient and staff safety. Remote check in allows your patients to seamlessly check-in, wait and see their doctor or nurse while eliminating any unnecessary face to face interactions and reducing time spent on the phone. When patients arrive, allow them to wait in their car and click a link to check in and use notifications to tell them when to come to the front door.

Use technology to keep yourself and staff safe, reduce telephone traffic and set yourself apart from the competition.