Is your practice prepared for the unexpected? During the summer and winter seasons, the chances that your practice may have to close unexpectedly due to weather increase. Since the weather during these times of the year can be so unpredictable, you may not have a lot of time to notify patients if you need to close your office suddenly. Having an emergency patient communications strategy in place can help to make a potentially disruptive situation easier to deal with. But how do you ensure that your strategy will work?
You really don’t want to wait until inclement weather hits to figure out how you’re going to let your patients know that the office will be closed or that a provider needs to cancel a day’s schedule. Your best option is to plan ahead so that you can notify patients efficiently and effectively. Here are a few ways to make sure your strategy is successful:
- Make sure you have up-to-date contact information for your staff and your patients, including the preferred channel to reach them.
- Prepare your messages ahead of time and have a variety of versions ready that cover everything from snowstorms or hurricanes (if applicable in your area) to power outages. This will help save you and your staff time so you can get the message out faster.
- Be concise but informative in your messaging. Make the purpose of the message clear from the beginning and provide information for next steps.
- Davis Family Physicians will be closed tomorrow, June 21, due to inclement weather. Please call the office on Monday at 585-543-8596 to reschedule your appointment.
Did you know that automation can play a huge role in your emergency communication strategy? Manually calling your patients can take hours to execute, while automated phone calls, text and/or emails can alert patients within minutes. Automated communications make it easy to create weather-related messages ahead of time so you’re always prepared when bad weather hits.
Patients will appreciate you keeping them informed, while your staff will welcome the ability to quickly create and send messages. Making automated notifications part of your emergency closing communications strategy will allow your time and resources to be focused on other critical needs, such as getting through the storm and getting business back to normal.
For more ideas on using technology to improve patient communications, download our free tip sheet, “10 Ways to Use Technology to Engage Patients and Grow Your Practice.”