Unpredictable and unsafe situations happen. That's why health systems must have a message broadcast solution ready to send patients messages at a moment's notice. Just last week, a winter storm crippled portions of the U.S. with layers of ice and snow along with power outages in states like Oklahoma and Texas. These weather events forced many businesses, including doctors, dentists, and vaccine administration sites to close due to unsafe road conditions, water damage from burst pipes, and lack of electricity. With patients scheduled and ready for their appointments, timely communication was important to reach them and reschedule their appointments.
When an emergency closure happens, it can wreak havoc on your schedule and cause an influx of calls, confusion, and frustration. A message broadcast solution allows you to communicate across a large group of patients quickly and efficiently when information needs to be shared en masse. Here are three important message broadcast communications to guide and inform patients and ultimately keep them safe.
As conditions began to deteriorate in affected area, providers realized not only was it safer for patients not to be on the road, but also their facility could have a difficult time providing services with rolling blackouts and 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 message letting all patients know the facility will be closed and all appointments will need to be rescheduled.
Send Important Contact Information
When providers are unable to make it into the office, they need a way to let patients know how to contact them in case 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.
Share Reopening Details
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.
Message broadcast 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 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
To be able to respond to emergencies quickly, your message broadcast solution should be simple to use. Stericycle's Message Broadcast empowers users to send text, voice and email messages in 8 simple steps.
Events like last week are bound to happen in the future, however your health system can be better prepared by having a message broadcast solution that allows you to send patient communications at a moment's notice. To learn about our message broadcast solution, watch this video.