In urgent care and emergency department settings, many patients have limited capacity to plod through a slow, confusing intake process. The only way to ensure a thorough and smooth intake is to make the process as easy and clear as possible for patients.
For many healthcare providers, shifting from paper to digital intake brings major improvements in patient experience, error reduction, and operational efficiency. However, digital intake presents its own set of challenges. Therefore, it’s essential to work with excellent software and to plan the digital intake procedure thoughtfully.
In the sections below, we’ll review the key features and benefits of digital intake forms for emergency rooms and urgent care facilities.
An effective intake form makes a good first impression by presenting a clear, manageable layout. The form should capture essential information without overwhelming the patient with excessive questioning.
Best practices for intake form design include:
An intuitive, user-friendly form design reduces patient stress. For staff, a well-designed form makes data extraction easier and minimizes the chances of data entry errors.
While paper forms are more likely to be improperly filled out, a patient filling out a digital form is more likely to get “stuck” and require staff assistance. When this happens too often, intake staff are overburdened and wait times increase.
Here are a few design features that reduce staff calls during intake:
These features make patient intake forms easier to understand and prevent accidental loss of data entry. This helps more patients navigate their forms without requiring staff assistance.
These days, many patients prefer to complete as many tasks as possible on their phones. Therefore, mobile functionality is useful for helping patients to quickly access and complete digital intake forms.
Mobile-friendly features include:
Mobile functionality is a win-win for staff and patients. More patients using their own devices means less demand for facility resources and fewer requests for assistance.
Informed consent is complicated in urgent care and emergency rooms. Patients who require acute care aren’t always able to comprehend or sign documents.
While electronic signatures (e-signing) don’t resolve every complication involved in gaining consent, it does make it possible to quickly and easily acquire traceable, automatically stored signatures.
In the US, e-signatures are valid and legally enforceable in all 50 states.
For patients, e-signatures are easy to provide. The process can be enhanced by ensuring clear visualization of the document being signed, presenting a post-signing confirmation message, and offering an option to download the document or receive a copy via email.
Digital intake goes hand-in-hand with digital queuing. Digital queuing occurs within a “virtual waiting room” that keeps patients informed via screens or text notifications. Patients can track their position in line and their estimated wait time. This information removes uncertainty and reduces anxiety.
With the right software solution, your facility’s digital intake system and virtual waiting room can be seamlessly integrated. This connectivity reduces errors and minimizes the need for redundant data entry.
Data security is paramount in healthcare. While digitization improves data storage and handling, it also presents serious data security risks.
One major defense against data security threats is file encryption during the upload of sensitive documents, like IDs and insurance cards. Encrypted uploads use an encoding process that blocks tampering or unauthorized access. Advanced encryption methods make it possible to transfer and store data with minimal vulnerability.
Additional considerations for a secure upload system include:
Choice of software plays a major role in data security. To maintain the highest standards for data protection, work with a software provider that offers enhanced security features and helpful customer support.
To explore a medical software solution that will streamline your organization’s workflow and improve the patient experience, contact ER Express today to request a product demonstration.
Up until recently, the traditional patient check-in process at medical practices has involved patients entering the facility, completing the necessary forms by hand, and waiting in the lobby to be seen. However, with the rise of digitalization in healthcare, many facilities are rethinking the way that patient check-ins are done.
As of recent, practices have begun implementing digital patient check-ins, which involve patients digitally completing their forms beforehand, checking in on their devices, then entering the facility only once they are able to be seen.
Today, we will be discussing some common features of digital check-in systems as well as how they enhance the patient experience. First, let’s talk about why you should choose this system over traditional methods.
Using digital patient check-in software has a host of benefits, ranging from an improved patient experience to increased operational efficiency in your practice. Digital check-in solutions can involve tools such as registration portals that allow new patients to easily register, digital intake forms to complete beforehand, mobile compatibility for remote check-ins, and kiosk check-ins for swift in-person intake.
A primary benefit of using a digital check-in solution is the efficiency that it offers. With the touch of a few buttons, patients can quickly register at your practice, check-in to their appointment, or schedule an appointment with ease.
One of the best ways to enhance the patient experience is by reducing the amount of time that they spend waiting to be seen. With digital check-in software, your practice’s staff can efficiently manage the flow of patients so that the office does not become too crowded, resulting in long wait times.
With digital intake forms, patients no longer have to spend their time manually completing forms before they’re seen. This not only saves patients time, but also allows for easy organization and access to important information for staff.
By using a digital check-in solution, staff no longer have to manually enter a patient’s information into the computer. They can easily access the information that has been digitally provided by the patient before their appointment.
To reduce missed appointments and create a line of open communication between staff and patients, many digital check-in software includes SMS and two-way text reminders. These provide patients with automated alerts for appointment confirmations.
Nowadays, consumers and patients require a level of convenience in their day-to-day transactions and appointments. Digital check-in systems provide this convenience with features such as remote check-ins from home or work as well as easy rescheduling of appointments.
In order to make patients feel that they are not “just another patient”, many digital check-in solutions include personalized greetings and guidance. They also provide tailored health information and tips to each patient so that they receive a truly personal experience throughout their medical journey.
Mistakes happen, but they’re far more likely to happen when everything is done by hand. Digital check-in systems reduce human error and minimize clerical errors by providing an accurate recording of patient history through the software.
In a fast-paced medical environment, constant communication is key. Digital check-in systems provide immediate updates on patient records as well as seamless integration with other hospital systems so that every party has the necessary information as soon as possible.
Other benefits of digital check-in include multiple advantages for enhanced data security and privacy. As we know, these are non-negotiable standards for managing healthcare data, but ensuring complete protection is often easier said than done. However, with the right check-in system, you can also benefit from the following advantages:
To enhance the patient experience at your emergency department or urgent care, start by creating a simple and secure check-in process. The best way to do this is by adopting a digital check-in system that makes the entire process easier and more efficient for both patients and staff.
To learn about improving the patient experience by installing digital patient check-in software at your emergency department or urgent care, request a demo today.
Digital queuing systems are seen as the future of waiting room workflows, as they automate the entire check-in process to allow patients to check-in virtually, see their expected wait time, and avoid long waits. This is a departure from traditional waiting room patient flow management which often involves patients manually filling out paperwork, and having to wait in an often-crowded waiting room to be seen.
For emergency veterinary practices, having a digital queuing system allows them to effectively manage their patient flow, control wait times, and optimize the entire check-in process to reduce the burden on staff. Take a look below to see more about how a digital queuing system streamlines emergency vet visits.
In a general sense, digital queuing systems automate the check-in process by using tools to learn your practice’s current and historical patient flow and automatically assign accurate treatment times to patients.
This concept can be tailored to emergency vet clinics by integrating pet records, emergency levels, and other relevant data to minimize wait times and keep your practice’s waiting room moving efficiently with minimum downtime.
Digital queuing systems allow for immediate input of patient information which can be instantly categorized based on severity or type of emergency. This lets your staff easily prioritize which patients need to be seen first, which is crucial when working in an emergency setting where every second counts.
With a digital queuing system, pet owners can receive timely updates about their pet’s status throughout the process. This helps them reduce stress and uncertainty during an oftentimes anxiety-inducing waiting period.
With scheduling optimized specifically for your practice, vets can plan their treatments more efficiently. Being able to optimize your practice’s scheduling aids in prioritizing cases based on severity and resources available at the time.
With data-driven insights improving the flow of patients, there is a reduction in perceived wait times due to active engagement via the system. Patients can also choose to wait from a remote “lobby” such as their car, which is especially useful when dealing with an animal that can get anxious in a physical waiting room.
Digital queuing systems also allow for efficient storage of data from every visit, treatment details, and results. This makes it easier for vets to review a pet’s past records and make informed decisions for their next visit without having to sift through old files.
With any piece of healthcare software, administrators may express some hesitation about adopting the technology. This is understandable, as you want to safeguard your patient data above all else. Here are some common concerns and how these can be addressed.
Digital queuing systems have truly revolutionized the way practices operate. Not only do they provide faster response times, but they also enable more informed treatment decisions compared to the old-school intake processes. On top of that, having digital records on hand makes long-term health monitoring and preventive care a breeze.
Now, let’s talk efficiency. Any clinic looking to boost its operational efficiency should seriously consider these systems. They dramatically cut down on administrative chores and piles of paperwork. Plus, they’re fantastic for optimizing resource allocation.
But it’s not just the clinics that benefit; pet owners also love them. Transparent communication is key to building trust, and with digital queuing systems, practices can offer just that.
Imagine being a pet owner during an emergency and having clear communication. It makes the entire experience less nerve-wracking and fosters a deeper bond between the clinic and the client.
For a digital queuing system that allows for greater operational efficiency and happier clients, ER Express is here to help. Our software is designed specifically for emergency practices to reduce the burden on staff, ease patient concerns, and optimize patient throughput.
To learn more about implementing a high-performance digital queuing system at your practice, request a demo with us today.
In an age where businesses and medical practices are in constant competition to utilize the latest technology, there’s one thing that your veterinarian office should utilize to stay competitive: a virtual waiting room.
With a growing focus on patient convenience and digital options in the healthcare industry, virtual waiting rooms have seen an explosion in popularity in recent years.
For veterinary practices specifically, virtual waiting rooms are tremendously useful for people with pets who would prefer not to sit in a waiting room with other owners and animals.
Here are 5 ways that not implementing virtual waiting could be hindering your emergency vet practice’s operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
The traditional waiting process in vet practices involves people crowding into a waiting room with their pets, oftentimes creating a level of chaos and slowing down the patient intake process as a whole. This can easily lead to a ripple effect of sorts, resulting in scheduling errors, missed appointments and overbooked days.
Without a virtual waiting room, vets can expect extended waiting periods, causing unnecessary stress and annoyance for both the practice’s staff and clients. Virtual waiting rooms ease this headache by creating a level of calmness and efficiency in the waiting room.
Not utilizing a virtual waiting room can lead to unnecessarily long and uncertain wait times, as clients crowd the waiting room and cannot be seen in a timely manner. This will inevitably result in frustration, negative reviews, and potentially lost business as a consequence of unhappy clients.
Virtual waiting rooms allow the waiting process to be streamlined by empowering your practice’s staff to control who can enter the office and when. This leads to more organization, efficiency, and less frustrated clients who may have sought out another veterinary practice as a result of inefficient waiting rooms.
People with pets who may be aggressive to other animals will also appreciate the added convenience of a virtual waiting room. They can wait with their pet in a more secluded location, such as in their car, and minimize the time their pet is around other animals.
Unpredictable waiting times which are caused by practices not adopting virtual waiting rooms can leave your staff feeling stressed and unorganized. This is because traditional waiting rooms often lead to more pressure on reception staff, less efficient work, and a negative workplace environment that doesn’t attract new employees.
When the patient intake and waiting process is streamlined with virtual waiting rooms, staff morale and productivity are boosted due to the lack of stress and chaos that comes with traditional waiting rooms in vet practices.
In any medical waiting room, let alone a veterinary practice, emergencies can pop up at any time and staff need to be able to react swiftly and calmly. Traditional waiting methods do not provide the level of flexibility that is necessary when handling unexpected emergencies.
When an emergency arises, a clinic with a traditional waiting room may have difficulty finding the resources to respond to the emergency due to the natural chaos associated with these waiting rooms. Their ability to prioritize critical cases can also be hindered when the waiting room is packed with owners and their pets.
Having a system that can adapt to changing priorities and needs with the click of a few buttons can make all the difference when an emergency presents itself in the waiting room. Virtual waiting rooms are great tools for keeping other patients out of the waiting room so staff can dedicate all of their attention and resources to the emergency at hand.
In the digital age, there has been a shift in client expectations where convenience and accessibility are more important now than ever. Using traditional waiting rooms and not adopting virtual waiting can make a practice appear outdated or less competitive, resulting in a potential loss of clients.
Keeping pace with modern technology by adopting a virtual waiting room enhances client relationships and loyalty by showing that your practice is willing to adopt the tools that make client experiences more convenient and less stressful.
When it comes to increasing operational efficiency and bettering the customer experience in your veterinary practice, adopting our virtual waiting room software is a great way to achieve this. With the limitations of a traditional waiting room and the expectation that medical practices are current with modern technology, having a virtual waiting room is key to remaining competitive in the healthcare industry.
See more about how our virtual waiting room software can improve your veterinary practice for staff and patients and request a demo with ER Express today.
Medical practices such as urgent cares and emergency departments can oftentimes be hectic environments for both staff and patients. But amidst the chaos, fostering meaningful patient engagement from the staff is crucial when it comes to providing a positive experience for patients.
These interactions are important, as they not only provide ease in an oftentimes stressful experience for patients but also increase the chance that these patients will choose to return to your practice on their next visit.
With emerging technological trends changing the way that medical practices operate, it is important to learn how to use this technology to improve patient engagement within your practice and remain competitive.
Here are five of the most common roadblocks that impede patient engagement in urgent care and emergency departments and how your practice can overcome them.
Getting a hold of busy staff on the phone can make the appointment-booking process a challenge for many patients. Then upon arrival, their experience is often dampened by long waiting times that make them spend more time than they would like in the waiting room before they are able to be seen.
Implementing virtual check-in systems allows patients to book an appointment (save your spot) online with ease, reducing the need to sit on hold waiting for a staff member to pick up the phone. Digital queuing can also be used to efficiently manage the waiting lines in your practice so that patients aren’t held up by long crowds while they are waiting to be seen.
Communication is key for urgent cares and emergency departments, as it helps ensure that patients and staff are on the same page throughout their medical journey. Delays in information sharing and lack of immediate and two-way communication with patients can cause unnecessary stress and annoyances for the practice, staff, and patients.
Online communication platforms are a great tool that allows staff in your practice to easily communicate with patients through a digital portal. You can also implement two-way messaging to enable real-time interactions and reduce any roadblocks in communication.
These tools are incredibly useful for making sure that patients are receiving necessary information in a timely manner and that your practice’s staff and patients are always on the same page.
The patient intake processes at urgent cares and emergency departments can often be cumbersome and time-consuming with the amount of patients coming in and out all day and night. This leads to a potential for errors and dissatisfaction among patients.
Luckily, there are digital tools which can create a more efficient intake process via online intake forms which can be completed before the patient enters the waiting room. This streamlined documentation and information gathering shortens lines, reduces crowding in the waiting room and minimizes the chances of any errors during the intake process.
In a medical environment where patients are often crowded together, there can be a hesitancy among patients to share necessary information due to a perceived lack of privacy. Certain systems also have inadequate data protection measures, meaning that patient’s information is not as secure as it needs to be.
Urgent cares and emergency departments need to invest in medical software that ensures secure data handling and compliance with privacy regulations. Staff can also educate patients on privacy measures and their rights so that they are more at ease when sharing personal information with their provider.
In a digital world, if a medical practice doesn’t have the proper technological infrastructure, they can struggle to keep up with other practices. This can either be a budgetary issue, or because of resistance to new technologies by staff and patients.
Making sure that there is thorough training and support for staff on new systems can bring your practice up to date, allowing you to foster meaningful patient engagement by making the process less stressful for patients. It can help to gradually introduce these technologies, allowing for easier adaptation into your practice.
Patient engagement in urgent cares and emergency departments is crucial for success, and that cannot be accomplished without the best solutions helping you along the way.
ER Express provides seamless digital solutions designed specifically for urgent cares and emergency departments, enabling them to achieve greater operational efficiency while improving patient engagement in all facets of their organization.
See how our software can benefit your urgent care or emergency department and request a demo today.
Patient engagement, a vital component of the healthcare delivery system, is increasingly making a paradigm shift towards the digital realm. With patients becoming more tech-savvy and expecting personalized care, healthcare providers need to adopt proactive digital patient engagement strategies.
Today, we will provide insights into the five most effective methods to engage your patients digitally, including two-way texting, SMS messaging, online check-ins, digital intake, and staying active online.
Two-way texting is an effective mode of communication that allows healthcare providers to send messages and receive responses back from patients directly. It is a patient engagement strategy that ensures real-time interaction and produces immediate feedback from patients. In many ways, it operates the same as one mobile phone user sending a text message to another, only with the right software, this can be done through a work device without needing a phone to send messages.
SMS refers to one-way, typically automated message sending. This can be used for points of engagement like appointment reminders, updates to the patient queue, and other similar types of outreach to patients on their mobile devices.
Patients are more likely to read and respond to SMS messages than emails. They can be used for sending appointment reminders, instructions for medication, health-related alerts or any communications that need to be read promptly.
To implement two-way texting in your practice, start by informing your patients about this new communication channel, explaining the benefits and letting them know how to opt in. Make sure the software you use is HIPAA-compliant to ensure the privacy and security of patient data.
For SMS, keep your messages brief and to the point. Where necessary, provide a contact number or link for patients to get more information or assistance. As with two-way texting, compliance with HIPAA guidelines is mandatory.
Online check-in systems provide patients with a digital platform that allows them to remotely book their visit time with minimal assistance required. This system minimizes both the waiting time for patients and the workload for your reception desk. It also empowers patients to control their health care with flexibility by deciding their check-in time and being able to wait from home.
Offer an intuitive user interface that is easy to navigate, even for less tech-savvy patients. Make sure your platform is mobile-friendly, as most patients are likely to use it on their smartphones. Wherever possible, offer links to the online check-in portal on your website so that it can be easily found.
Digital intake refers to the use of electronic forms for gathering patient information prior to a visit. It reduces the need for physical paperwork, ensuring a more seamless check-in process that can be completed beforehand.
A digital intake platform allows patients to provide their medical history, current health status, and signature for consent in advance, ensuring that healthcare providers have all the necessary information before the visit. It can help eliminate redundant paperwork while optimizing appointment times and scheduling.
When selecting a digital intake solution, opt for an easy-to-use, HIPAA-compliant digital platform that allows patients to fill in their information at their convenience. Additionally, ensure that the platform can integrate with your electronic health record (EHR) system for ease of data access and management.
Oftentimes, engaging person-to-person online is the most effective tool to drive more traffic to your urgent care or veterinary practice. Actions like interacting with social media comments and messages, responding to online reviews, and keeping your profiles regularly updated are simple ways to both market your facility’s brand and engage with potential patients.
Where legally permissible within the healthcare industry, be responsive to interactions from users, providing quick and helpful information that leads them to engaging further through your patient portal or website. Do not attempt to treat, diagnose, or offer other medical advice over social media.
Despite the increasing digitization of healthcare, human interaction remains the cornerstone of patient engagement. Digital tools should be implemented in a way that they enhance, not replace, the human aspect of care. This enables your practice to be efficient without losing the human touch.
A patient will not remember filling out digital paperwork nearly as much as they will recall how they felt while they were visiting your location. When digital tools are used effectively, they free up more time for healthcare providers to spend on direct patient care. This can help build rapport, boost patient satisfaction, and inspire confidence in your facility.
Use digital engagement tools as a means to streamline operations and eliminate inefficiencies, but ensure that personal patient-provider interactions are prioritized. It’s important for your practice to foster a culture that values personal interaction, empathetic listening, and responsive communication.
At ER Express, we provide your animal health practice, urgent care, or emergency department with a complete suite of digital patient engagement solutions designed to encourage interaction with providers while freeing more time for your staff to focus on providing an excellent experience.
To learn more about how we can assist your organization in taking digital patient engagement to a new level, request a demo today.
An urgent care for animals provides veterinary services for animals that are in need of quick medical attention or cannot go to a standard veterinarian’s office due to their operating hours. There is a growing need for this service due to increased pet ownership across the country and the limitations of traditional veterinary practice hours.
Veterinary urgent care verticals present an opportunity to increase revenue for existing practices and provide additional value to pet owners, such as the ability for quick treatment for minor concerns or non-life-threatening conditions with their pets.
The first step in adding an urgent care vertical to your existing veterinary practice is identifying and understanding the specific needs and expectations of the local pet owners and community around you. Be sure to evaluate the local veterinary landscape, including competitor practices and their hours, so you can determine if there’s a need for this type of service in your area.
When it comes to staffing, it’s important to hire experienced veterinarians and staff who are comfortable with emergency care situations and able to work more flexible hours than typical veterinary practices. For animal urgent care verticals specifically, staff will need additional training, especially in terms of providing emergency and urgent care services.
Depending on the physical state of your current practice, you may need to explore the need for adjusting existing facilities or procuring new space to accommodate urgent care. There are a few additional spaces to consider, which include appropriate kenneling areas, treatment rooms, and surgical suites. There may also be a need for additional or specialized medical equipment that you need when providing these services.
Finally, it’s crucial to understand and meet all local and national regulatory requirements for operating an urgent care for animals. Keep in mind the appropriate insurances and other legal considerations you may need to consider based on your jurisdiction’s laws and regulations.
Another idea could also include reaching out to other veterinarians that have successfully opened animal urgent cares outside of your local market. These individuals would not be competitors to your practice and may be willing to share some of their own experiences and advice, since they will not feel like they will have to compete against you for local pet owners.
The proper technology and pet owner engagement software are of the utmost importance in modern veterinary practices, especially when adding an urgent care vertical. Here are some digital tools that you should consider implementing in your practice when adding this vertical:
An online check-in service offers convenience to pet owners by allowing them to hold their spot in line online ahead of their visit so they can wait remotely. This tool also optimizes the clinic’s operational efficiency by allowing staff to offer up or block off time slots that can redirect patient volume to less busy times and days or even less busy locations. It also opens up communication between the urgent care and the client via email and texts so the urgent care can keep their clients informed about wait times and other details regarding their visit.
Virtual waiting allows clients and their pets to avoid sitting in the waiting room and instead wait remotely until the office is ready to see them. This practice minimizes physical crowding in the waiting room and eases stress for both pet owners and pets. It can be used in conjunction with an online check-in tool to add all walk-in visits to the same virtual queue as online check-ins.
Utilizing SMS and two-way texting with your clients can enhance the flow of communication between pet owners and your practice’s staff. This technology is useful when providing owners with timely updates about their pet’s condition, alleviating their worries and keeping them informed throughout the oftentimes stressful process.
Digital intake forms allow owners to complete any necessary paperwork before they arrive at your office. These are a great tool for streamlining the registration process, reducing paperwork, and helping the urgent care team focus more on patient care instead of having to manually handle paperwork when patients arrive.
Intake forms are often the main reason that you may spend time in the waiting room. Completing this paperwork digitally can prove an invaluable tool, especially for people with pets who are restless, energetic, or do not get along well with other animals. Instead, the pet owner can complete these tasks from a more comfortable place, such as at home or in their car.
Custom screening questions can be used in triaging and deciding how your staff should be prioritizing cases. They help your practice quickly and accurately collect vital information from patients that will help determine which pets should be seen in which order.
Certain software can facilitate seamless drop-off and pickup processes by utilizing SMS messaging. This helps ensure less contact and smoother operations throughout the process, especially in peak times or emergency situations. If a pet needs to spend considerable time at your practice, you could also use this tool to notify a pet owner when to return to your facility if they decide to leave the premises for a time with plans to return later to pick up their pet.
If you’re considering adding an animal urgent care vertical to your existing veterinary practice, it’s important to be equipped with the right medical software that will set you up for success and allow your practice to operate as smoothly as possible.
At ER Express, we provide a wide range of digital engagement solutions designed specifically for veterinary offices to improve their operations and make the process easy and efficient for patients and practitioners alike. For more information on how our tools can help your veterinary urgent care, request a demo today.
Engaging patients effectively has long been a cornerstone of quality healthcare, with phone calls and emails acting as the primary communication tools for years. While these methods have served their purpose, they come with inherent limitations.
Time-consuming phone calls, delayed email responses, wait times, and the requirement of continuous human intervention often lead to inefficiencies. A faster, more efficient approach to patient engagement is necessary to overcome these challenges.
With a post-pandemic medical world increasingly relying on digital means to automate much of the patient intake and engagement process, it can feel like efforts to accommodate more patients are coming at the cost of the human interaction that contributes to an excellent patient experience. However, that does not have to be the case.
Instead of viewing patient engagement tools as ways to automate much of the process, think of the end benefit: more time to engage with and better serve patients without having to complete many tedious administrative tasks manually.
Today, we’ll cover 5 faster alternatives to phone calls and email that you can use to engage with your own patients at your facility. First, let’s talk about the key component at the center of it all: timeliness.
At the heart of superior patient engagement lies the concept of response time. The quicker a patient’s query or concern is addressed, the better the patient’s experience. Rapid communication not only reduces patient anxiety but also creates an environment of trust and reliability.
Quicker communication methods also enable healthcare providers and staff to manage their time efficiently, allowing them to concentrate on critical tasks without compromising on patient engagement. This balance creates a symbiotic relationship where both patients and healthcare providers benefit from the speed of communication.
SMS messaging, known for its instantaneous nature, is a compelling tool in the arsenal of patient engagement strategies. The speed and accessibility of SMS allow healthcare providers to share updates, reminders, or important information almost instantly.
Furthermore, SMS messaging enhances patient engagement by providing real-time communication that is both fast and convenient. Whether it’s a reminder about an upcoming appointment or a follow-up on a recent visit, SMS keeps the patient connected and engaged with their healthcare provider.
Notably, SMS messaging has the added advantage of reaching patients irrespective of location, enhancing in-person and remote interaction. This instant mode of communication enables healthcare staff to manage patient interactions more effectively, reinforcing the human touch.
Two-way texting is an evolution of SMS messaging, taking patient engagement to a whole new level. It is a conversation in real-time, allowing for a back-and-forth exchange of information and queries.
The expeditious nature of two-way texting allows for swift resolution of patient concerns and questions, ultimately leading to a more satisfactory patient experience. It further enhances patient engagement by making patients feel heard and valued, without the delay of traditional communication methods.
Two-way texting has a crucial role in augmenting the ability of staff to engage both in-person and remotely. The immediacy of responses save time and energy and allow staff to more quickly respond from a device of their choosing rather than needing to manually sift through emails or juggle multiple incoming calls.
The rise of digitalization has brought about transformative tools such as digital intake and virtual waiting rooms. These innovations streamline the administrative process, saving patients from unnecessary waiting times, physical paperwork, and time spent in an in-person waiting room.
The speed and convenience offered by these digital tools not only improve the efficiency of the healthcare delivery process but also enhance patient engagement. Patients can provide their medical history, update personal information, or check in for appointments at their convenience.
Moreover, by automating these time-consuming tasks, healthcare staff can focus on improving the quality of in-person and remote patient interactions. They have more time to spend serving those who are visiting your facility, virtually or physically, enabling more human interaction once the administrative priorities are swiftly completed.
Automated surveying is another tool that promises fast and reliable patient feedback. Surveys sent post-consultation or procedure allow healthcare providers to gauge levels of patient satisfaction and determine areas for improvement.
Quickly obtaining this valuable feedback enhances patient engagement by making patients feel valued and listened to. It provides healthcare providers with actionable insights that can be used to elevate the level of care provided.
By automating the survey process, healthcare staff are freed up from this administrative task. They can devote their time to more meaningful interactions with patients, enriching the overall experience.
Patient referral software is a sophisticated tool that simplifies and speeds up the referral process. By automating referral management, it ensures that referrals don’t fall through the cracks and patients receive timely care.
From an engagement standpoint, a reliable referral management system allows you to receive information about an incoming patient from another provider before they arrive. You can begin providing care and treatment with more information about the patient’s background history, current conditions, symptoms, and other insights that can help you best serve them.
While the importance of speed and efficiency in patient engagement is unquestionable, it’s essential to remember that these technological tools are meant to complement, not replace, human interaction. Healthcare, after all, is inherently about human care and connection.
Even as we embrace these faster tools, the focus must remain on the quality of interactions between patients and healthcare staff. While patients may not remember every intake form they sign, they will indeed remember how they were treated by the staff at your facility.
At ER Express, we provide animal health facilities, emergency departments, and urgent cares with the most advanced suite of digital patient engagement tools available. Using our platform enables you to spend more time providing a greater human experience for patients, supported by a reliable virtual infrastructure that removes tedious tasks from your staff’s to-do list and streamlines your operations. To learn more, request a demo with us today.
The Covid pandemic spurred the rapid adoption of digital client engagement solutions throughout the veterinary industry. Digitization helps veterinarians to automate tasks and improve productivity.
Unfortunately, for many vets, embracing new technologies seems like a “something gained, something lost” scenario. Are digital practice management solutions at odds with the sense of personal connection that means so much in veterinary care?
At ER Express, we believe that well-managed digital tools can actually enhance the personal touch, rather than detract from it.
Veterinary practice management software (VPMS) is used to improve efficiency and record-keeping for tasks like scheduling appointments and managing patient records. VPMS can even be used for back-office work like bookkeeping and accounting.
VPMS also provides platforms that automate certain communications with patients. These highly-customizable tools lead to more reliable and efficient appointment procedures but don’t replace any of the valuable face-to-face time that clients value.
In the sections below, we’ll discuss five benefits of using VPMS, highlighting advantages that reduce a vet staff’s workload while providing clients with a more pleasant appointment process.
Veterinary practice management software may include appointment automation features such as:
These tools simplify and automate tasks for your staff, reducing the time spent fielding phone calls, managing schedules and queues, and manually collecting billing and insurance info for each visit.
Improved efficiency on admin tasks is also a time saver for your clients, providing greater control over the time spent on scheduling, checking in for, and waiting for appointments.
Automation reduces the need for certain person-to-person interactions. For some pet owners, too much automation can result in an appointment process that may feel impersonal, unenjoyable, or confusing.
However, practice management software doesn’t have to take away from your practice’s personal touch. In fact, you can use digital communication tools to engage with patients in a manner that’s both practical and meaningful.
Engagement features like digital intake forms, two-way texting, and automated appointment time updates help clients feel informed and in control. Furthermore, these tools don’t necessarily replace any person-to-person communication. Rather, they create helpful communication platforms that equip clients and veterinary staff with more efficient options for sharing information.
Veterinarians use digital communication features to exchange messages with pet owners before and after their visits. A client can share and receive helpful info about their pet’s condition and treatment needs, leading to more productive visits and better health outcomes for pets. These tools can be customized to provide an appropriate degree of automation without compromising the personal touch.
No matter how welcoming and accommodating your reception staff is, the veterinary waiting room is a stressful place for many pets and their owners.
You can improve the waiting room experience with comfy seating and free treats, but the most meaningful improvement you can make is to reduce the amount of time clients spend stuck in the waiting room.
Digital intake, digital queuing, and virtual waiting rooms reduce waiting room time and help patients feel more in control of their appointments. They can quickly check in from their phones and pass their wait time in a location where they feel more comfortable, such as in their car or outside the facility. These tools empower clients, streamline your office’s workflow, and create a more peaceful waiting room.
Veterinary practice management software systems include features for creating and organizing documents. These tools allow for a more personalized and helpful continuum of care.
Using customizable paperwork features, you can work from templates to tailor forms and info sheets to meet the needs of individual animals and their owners.
Veterinary practice management software can produce reports and analytics on demand, providing an objective evaluation of key performance metrics. You can review historic trends and anticipate upcoming changes related to productivity, scheduling, and any other aspect of your practice that produces trackable data.
At ER Express, we develop innovative digital engagement tools for medical practices. We equip veterinarians with the latest client engagement software that improves service to pets and pet owners without compromising the level of personalization offered in a fully in-office experience.
To learn more, contact our sales team or schedule a product demonstration today.
At the end of the day, every healthcare organization’s ultimate goal is to provide the best experience and outcomes for their patients. But going above and beyond in providing care does more than just keep your patients happy and healthy- it helps to improve the reputation of your practice too.
Organizations with better public reputations stand a greater opportunity to attract and retain patients, improving their acquisition. Today we’ll be reviewing how creating a positive patient experience boosts patient acquisition in your practice.
To understand the patient experience, you have to understand what it is that patients are looking for when they step foot into your practice. There are a few small things you can do that go a long way with keeping patients happy. These include having clear communication, keeping a pleasant demeanor, being punctual and keeping your facilities clean.
In the bigger picture, providing high-quality care and online convenience options like virtual queuing/digital intake/online scheduling can also do wonders for creating a positive patient experience.
Patient acquisition refers to how new patients become returning customers of your healthcare business. This can be achieved through a number of avenues such as marketing/advertising, insurance directories, and word-of-mouth recommendations.
Each method of patient acquisition has its own advantages and disadvantages as well as associated costs. For example, if you’re spending more on marketing than you are earning in revenue from patient visits, the marketing aspect of your patient acquisition strategy has a high cost associated with it.
Having said that, continuous patient acquisition and long-term retention are both vital for any healthcare organization to remain viable in their communities.
The cheapest and possibly most effective way of retaining patients is through word-of-mouth referrals. When you provide a positive patient experience, your patients are more likely to both return to your practice and recommend it to others seeking care.
In the digital age, maintaining a positive online presence is crucial. When your patients have a good experience, you can encourage them to leave online reviews. This in turn helps boost the reputation of your practice and attract new patients.
Overall, when you provide a positive experience for your patients, they’re likely to return and maintain a form of loyalty to your practice. Keeping patients happy so they continue to return is key for the long-term success of your practice.
Ultimately, when patients receive high-quality care, they are likely to return to your practice. Providing the best possible care is the most efficient way to ensure that your patients return.
It’s important for patients to feel heard throughout their medical journey. Maintaining an open line of communication is necessary for improving the patient experience.
There are a number of technological solutions that you can use to improve workflows in your practice, enhance communication and ultimately improve the patient experience. These can include EHR’s, online scheduling softwares, digital queuing, online intake forms and SMS messaging.
Your staff are the central driving force of your practice and will be communicating with patients throughout the entire process. Making sure that they’re properly trained will help ensure every interaction with patients goes smoothly.
In order to improve your practice’s patient experience, you need to not only collect feedback but act on it. Make sure that you are addressing all patient concerns so that you can ensure the best possible experience for them upon their return.
Once you introduce these strategies to your practice, you will want to measure their impact on patient acquisition. To do this, you must determine and track KPIs such as number of new 4+ star Google Reviews, number of appointment requests/month or number of phone calls from patients. Keeping track of these will help measure your progress over time to see if your strategies are having an impact.
ER Express offers a host of digital solutions to improve both your practice’s patient experience and acquisition. From EHR’s to digital queuing systems, ER Express has the tools you need to keep patients happy, healthy and returning to your practice in the future.
To learn more about how you can leverage our solutions to improve your own patient experience, request a demo today.