Addressing Increased Clinic Phone Traffic Amid COVID-19

Addressing Increased Clinic Phone Traffic Amid COVID-19

The surge in phone calls experienced by many clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in higher phone bills, with both inbound and outbound calls on the rise. Patients are calling to reschedule appointments or seeking information about COVID-19 testing, adding to the already existing volume of regular clinic calls. Healthcare teams can implement several solutions to ease the strain on staff caused by this heightened call load.

Online Booking: Embracing real-time online appointment bookings can transform clinics. Approximately 65% of clinic calls are appointment-related, including booking, canceling, and checking available times. Online booking offers a time-saving solution for both clinics and patients, allowing them to conveniently schedule appointments via phone, tablet, desktop, or a dedicated app. This tool operates 24/7, enhancing patient loyalty and reducing no-show rates.

Online Payments: Integrating online payment options into the booking process provides patients with an end-to-end experience. This approach enables clinics to decrease outstanding debts by collecting payments at the time of booking, streamlining financial transactions.

Payment Links: Expedite the payment process with instant and easily shareable payment links. By sending these links to patients, clinics can significantly reduce the time spent on phone calls, eliminating the need for patients to search for their credit cards. Automation ensures prompt receipts, saving valuable office staff time while safeguarding practice revenue.

Secure Messaging: In light of guidance from the Data Protection Office and the ICGP IT group, it’s crucial to avoid transmitting clinical information via text or using email for clinical data exchange. Secure messaging, in contrast, aligns with GDPR compliance and facilitates the secure sharing of clinical information. This cloud-based solution offers end-to-end encryption at rest and in transit, enabling efficient communication with patients at home. It also provides anonymity for patient groups and can be accessed from any internet-connected device. Given the evolving patient base, including millennials, secure messaging caters to the communication preferences of digital natives.

COVID-19 Triage: Automate COVID-19 triage procedures by sending them to patients before their clinic visits. This system alerts clinicians when patients fail the triage, enhancing safety for you, your staff, and other patients.

Remote Check-In: As in-office visits resume, effective management of waiting room capacity is vital for the safety of both patients and staff. Remote check-in empowers patients to seamlessly check in, wait, and see their healthcare providers while reducing unnecessary face-to-face interactions. Patients can wait in their cars and receive notifications guiding them when to enter the clinic.

By leveraging these technological solutions, clinics can enhance safety measures, reduce telephone traffic, and distinguish themselves in a competitive healthcare landscape.