As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States, healthcare organizations are looking for ways to conduct mass screenings and answer questions about what to do in the event of exposure. As with any health crisis, according to the latest Situation Summary from the CDC, this is a rapidly evolving situation. Phone lines are ringing off the hook, and concerned patients are looking for guidance from trusted healthcare professionals.
Why It’s Critical to Screen for Coronavirus Exposure
Protecting both patients and medical staff is more critical than ever. The spread of COVID-19 continues, but the choices we make now will determine how far the outbreak will spread.
In a worse-case-scenario, a person who is unknowingly carrying the coronavirus goes to a hospital or healthcare facility for an appointment. By the time they are checked in, examined, and leave, they have exposed the virus to potentially hundreds of patients and medical staff.
Here’s how Intrado is working with healthcare organizations to create an automated screening program for patients who are scheduled to come in for an appointment.
How to Plan Ahead
It is important not to wait until it’s too late to figure out how you’re going to screen your patients and educate them on potential signs of exposure. Your best option is to plan ahead so that you can notify patients rapidly 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 their preferred communication channel to reach them.
Prepare a variety of messages in advance so that your organization is ready to cover everything from helping patients to identify symptoms to instructing them on how to get help. This will 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. Here are a few examples.
See message about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how XYZ Health is preparing. Visit www.com/covid19 before your appt.
With the current coronavirus in our community, ACME Health is committed to keeping our patients and visitors safe. Visit our website at www.com before your appointment to learn more.
How to Leverage Automation
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 healthcare emergency messages ahead of time, so you’re always prepared when situations happen.
Patients will appreciate you keeping them informed, while your staff will welcome the ability to create and send messages quickly. Making automated notifications part of your emergency communications strategy will allow your organization to focus its time and resources on other critical needs, such as getting to those patients who need you the most.
Read our latest infographic to learn more about COVID-19 Communication Strategies.