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How to prepare and contact patients during a shutdown

illustrating proper preparations for contacting patients in a shutdown

Is Your Practice Prepared for Another Shutdown? 3 Text Tools to Contact Patients During a Shutdown

While no one wants to think about it, this winter could bring another wave of shut downs. Is your practice prepared? Last March, the pandemic took many practices by surprise—when shutdowns happened, old ways of communicating didn’t quite cut it anymore. How can you reach all your patients at once? How can you easily answer their questions? How can you stay relevant and personal when you can’t be physically in person? Fortunately, mobile tools have proven extremely effective at helping practices maintain excellent communication and contact patients during shutdowns and emergency situations.

3 Patient Contact Text Tools You Need During a Shutdown

1. Text all patients at once with broadcast messaging

What happens if your practice has to temporarily close? How do you reach all your patients at once? Whether it’s a government mandated shutdown, a shutdown due to an outbreak, or a weather-related shutdown, sometimes it’s important to make it as easy as possible to contact all patients with minimal effort. If you need to contact patients due to shutdown, broadcast messaging is your best possible tool. Create one text and automatically send it to all of your active patients!

What is broadcast messaging?

Broadcast messaging allows you to send one text that can reach all patients. Forget leaving voicemails that no one listens to, or emails that are unreliably read. Instead, focus on text, the preferred method of communication for today’s patients. 98% of text messages are read, so you know that your patients will actually see the message..

When do you use broadcast messaging?

You can use this feature for office related emergencies, care-related messages, or for sharing information that applies to all patients. You can also use the feature to let patients know if you are still open and to clarify confusion about a shutdown. If your staff fields 3-4 questions in one day about whether you are open—you should assume that there are many more patients wondering the same thing. Efficient broadcast messaging to your active patients can help keep them informed, fill your calendar, and save staff time. Bottom line: the best and easiest way to contact patients during a shutdown is broadcast messaging.

Pro tip:

Partner with Zingit for broadcast messaging—we can help you to understand the rules and regulations around sending texts to groups of patients, HIPAA regulations, and what makes an excellent, actionable, friendly text that encourages patient engagement.

shutdown preparation-how to contact patients

2. Answer questions and connect using web chat to text

We live in a world where people love instant communication and expect quick easy answers to their questions.. When potential patients or existing patients visit your website with questions, chances are they will appreciate a tool that allows them to contact your office in the way they prefer. It’s time to move away from the traditional ways of communicating with visitors to your site, like contact forms. These forms usually send the office an email and many times patients are waiting hours or days for a response —by that time, it’s very likely they will lose interest and you will lose a potential appointment. Instead, enable webchat to text and avoid losing their interest when it matters most!

What is web chat to text?

This tool allows patients or website visitors to submit a question on your website along with their phone number. The Zingit software, will notify you immediately and you can then engage with the patient through a simple text message conversation. Since text is the preferred and most widely used form of communication today, they will be most likely to see your text and respond, launching a 2 way conversation with someone from your office. This engagement is not only convenient for your patients and potential patients, but it allows you to make a connection and guide them toward scheduling an appointment.

When do you use web chat to text?

This feature is best for engaging with potential patients, guiding them to schedule appointments and filling your calendar. It also helps save your staff time spent playing “voicemail phonetag” with existing patients. Answer questions and help patients out using your convenient dashboard. During the pandemic, this tool is great for fielding questions that come in about office openings, rescheduling appointments, and in general, contacting patients during a shutdown—removing barriers to get the patients back to your practice once you are open again.

Pro tip:

Web chat to text is the latest tool available to practices looking to convert patients into care and keep their schedules full. It is superior to traditional “chatbots” because it’s not an automated canned response. The webchat to text tool immediately kicks off a 2-way text conversation between you and the potential patient. So even if they leave your website while waiting for a response, you can pick up the conversation in the most convenient way possible…text!

3. Send videos via text

People love watching videos on their phones. Practices should start to love video just as much as patients. Sharing a video offers a personal feel, and establishes a connection with you and your staff that is unavailable in other media. Zingit helps practices deliver mobile web pages that include video content right to your patients’ mobile phones.

What is a video text?

Simple! Record a video (we’ll show you how) and share it with one or all of your patients in a text message. The patient will see the video, click on it and watch. And because casual videos have become the norm and offer authenticity, you don’t have to film a huge production for these to be successful. All you need is any smartphone and a Youtube account, and you are all set to film practice videos.

When do you use video texts?

Video texts are amazing for practice use and get tons of buzz from patients. Use video texts to introduce the doctor or offer a practice tour and establish rapport before a patient steps foot in your door. After an initial visit, send testimonials of happy patients who have used the practice for a while. Send a funny birthday message of staff singing Happy Birthday to engage patients and keep them coming back for more. And especially during a shutdown—contact patients and connect with them when you can’t see them in person to keep your practice top of mind.

Pro tip:

Zingit has helped practices across the country figure out how to contact patients using video text messages and we have tons of easy tips to get you started. You’ll be video pros in no time….oh, forgot to mention that most of this can be automated! Improving your patient communication and saving you tons of time.

We recommend exploring how these tips could help your practice before any shutdown occurs. What we learned in 2020 is that practices who had the right tools in place can survive and even thrive. Connect with Zingit today and let us show you how these incredible tools that will help you connect with patients during a shutdown and beyond. Schedule your personal demo today!

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"If you aren’t using Zingit, you are losing appointments and patients. The ROI is incredible!"
Dr. Matt Paterna
Owner | Shoreline Chiropractic