The COVID-19 pandemic is flooding clinics with healthcare inquiries and follow ups.
Many people are choosing to visit health centres for check-ups which can overwhelm clinic time. It may also increase the risk of catching on the virus especially if people travel to the clinics using public transportation.
With an increased volume calls pouring in, it takes at least 20 minutes per patient leading to congested telephone lines. This is causing delayed diagnosis, treatment plans, increased frustration levels of people, thus putting to risk the health condition of infected people and the community at large.
The best way to provide care is to increase the scale of addressing patient queries and using a mix of technology platforms that are specially designed to accommodate the pandemic crisis.
Let’s see how!
Step 1 - Receive patient inquiry via Secure-Mail
Give free Secure-Mail access to every patient of your clinic and encourage them to write to you (except for emergency situations). This will ensure that they do not have to be on hold for several hours till they can talk to someone.
Step 2 - Respond to inquiry or triage as appropriate
When the patients write to your clinic, front line staff can triage incoming messages based on the basis of the case and the urgency. While you can take immediate action for urgent cases and address it quicker, the less urgent cases can be dealt with separately (people that have questions, people that have mis-diagnosed themselves, people that want their paranoia addressed, etc.).
Have some templates ready that answer the most commonly asked questions. The templates can be:
- Preliminary steps to self-diagnose
- How to send the self-diagnosis back to the clinic
- The role of the caregiver
- How and when to follow up, etc.
With Secure-Mail patients can send you videos, pictures, forms etc. as attachments. Secure-Mail supports all formats of even bulky attachments.
Step 3 - Schedule appointment via Secure-Mail, include pre-appointment forms or questionnaires
Using Secure-Mail will ensure that you can address the concerns of many more patients and speak with the ones that are really in need of medical attention. It is an excellent first level filter.
Use Secure-Mail to schedule patient appointments. You can include pre-appointment forms, self-assessment questionnaires, etc. with detailed instructions such as how you would want them to be filled and by when you would like to receive them.
Step 4 - Conduct visit via phone or secure video conferencing
At this stage you will be fully equipped to know which patients you should be phoning or doing a video conferencing with. Following these steps will help you leverage your time effectively and help you serve many patients better!
Lastly, please ensure that you are still maintaining privacy, confidentiality and security of patient information even during these times of crisis and excess work-load.