3 Patient Text Messages That Health Systems Need to Be Prepared to Send During Unforeseen Closures

June 30, 2021 | Stericycle Communication Solutions

Unpredictable things can happen. Natural disasters, weather emergencies, and other unforeseen circumstances can close your facility with little warning. When events like these happen, real-time communication with your patients is important to maintain satisfaction and provide a positive patient experience. Sending patient text messages can be the easiest and quickest way to contact your patients with urgent notices.

Learn about our message broadcast text and voice communication services.

Broadcast Text Messages Are Key to Contacting Patients During Emergency Closures

When an emergency closure happens, it can wreak havoc on your schedule and cause an influx of calls, confusion, and frustration. A text message broadcast solution allows you to communicate quickly and efficiently across a large group of patients when information needs to be shared en masse. Here are three important text message broadcast communications to guide and inform patients.

Use Patient Text Messages to Communicate Closures

When a natural disaster or inclement weather strikes, it can be unsafe for both the patients and providers. The conditions can make it dangerous for patients to travel, and it can become difficult for the facility to provide services when there is a loss of power or water supply issues. The first step in changing patients' schedules on a large scale is to communicate the change. This is easily accomplished by sending a broadcast patient text message letting all patients know the facility will be closed and all appointments will need to be rescheduled.

patient text message showing emergency medical office closure

Send Important Contact Information to Patients

When providers cannot make it into the office, they need a way to let patients know how to contact them if they needed something, such as a refilled prescription. One option is to have an after-hours nurse triage phone line that can be utilized during an unforeseen closure. When events like this happen, it's also important to remind patients to call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency—even during inclement weather. Whatever you plan, make sure patients know how to get in contact with you during the service outage.

patient text message with contact instructions

Share Reopening Details with Patients

Eventually, your office will be ready to open and start accepting patients again. If you know the date ahead of time, communicating that to patients in advance can help fill your schedule more quickly. Rather than calling all patients whose appointments were missed, use a convenient message broadcast text to notify patients and caregivers that your office has reopened. Even more, include a link for patients to easily reschedule their missed appointment.  If your building suffered damage prompting arrival instructions to change, be sure to include these details in an appointment confirmation text.

patient text message with office opening hours

Patient Text Messages Aren’t Just For Emergencies

Patient text messages can be powerful in an emergency, but it's also a valuable solution for everyday notifications and alerts. Here are a few more ways to utilize a text message broadcast solution:

  • Provider delays or schedule changes
  • Construction and entrance changes
  • Road closures
  • Location and building changes
  • Flu shot and other vaccine availability
  • New provider available at your facility
  • New office hours or contact information

Natural disasters and unforeseen emergencies are bound to happen in the future; however, your health system can be better prepared by having a patient text message solution that allows you to send broadcast communications at a moment's notice. To learn about our message broadcast solution, watch this video.

send patient text message communications at a moment’s notice with our message broadcast solution

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