Thanks to the internet, work from home seems to become more popular with each passing year. The Covid-19 pandemic only sped up this trend, forcing millions of people to use communication tools to handle their traditionally in-person business on the computer or by phone. This transition to remote work wouldn’t be possible without effective technological solutions.
Doctors and other essential workers don’t have the luxury to work from home all day, every day. They’re on the front lines, doing research, treating patients, and helping their organization thrive. However, there’s still a place for communication solutions that facilitate remote work for medical doctors and their teams.
Some medical practices are having parts of their administrative staff work remotely. If doctors own or work for a multi-location practice, they might be traveling frequently and require tools for staying in touch with their main office. In some cases, employees in a medical office are on their feet so much they need an app on their smartphone to keep up with office communication.
The goal of this blog post is to share and explain some of the essential communication tools for on-the-go medical doctors. These solutions have been developed to improve the patient experience, increase employee productivity, and generate more revenue for growing medical practices. Once consolidated in a single app, the right communication tools simplify how you run your doctor’s office.
An integrated phone system
If you or your staff are going to work remotely, you have to be connected to your office’s phone system. Making calls from a private number only confuses your patients, and handling calls is almost an impossibility if your smartphone isn’t linked to your main phone line. A mobile app should let you take calls as if you’re in the office.
To set up this type of integrated phone system, you’ll first need to get VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phones in your office. Software then makes it possible to have patient calls directed, transferred, and forwarded to you on your mobile device. That way, you and your team can handle patient calls from anywhere, whether it’s from home, the road, or the remote corners of your office.
You may have noticed that not all your patients are keen on phone calls these days. Younger clients are especially likely to prefer texting over calling. It’s a pain and a threat to HIPAA compliance when you text from your personal device without using the right pathways.
Texting is a vital part of an integrated phone system. Your employees should be able to have text conversations with patients no matter where they’re working. The ideal mobile app for medical practices lets you text with patients from your smartphone, as well as implement features like missed call auto texts.
Accessible patient profiles
Doctors’ offices are usually brimming with medical records and patient information, traditionally stored in file folders but now stored electronically. When a patient calls with questions about treatments, insurance, and appointments, staff members and doctors have to open up these files on their desktop, or even worse, sort through piles of paperwork.
A tool that ties a patient’s personal profile to their call simplifies things for medical employees working remotely. As soon as a patient calls, you can scroll through their family members, birthdays, upcoming appointments, outstanding payments, and specific notes about the patient. These insights allow you to answer questions quickly and ensure that tasks are handled in a single call.
Scheduling is one of the most difficult tasks for medical employees working remotely. If you don’t have the right tool for viewing your calendar and booking appointments, you’re forced to make a series of calls to your main office to reserve a visit for your patients. There’s also the laborious process of making reminder calls to each client, a process that sucks up huge amounts of administrative time.
A mobile app with a scheduling tool lets you send out appointment reminders and confirmations by text. These reminders can be automated to go out at specific times and dates, relieving your team of having to make hundreds or thousands of calls. A scheduling tool on your smartphone also makes it easier to fill time slots at the last minute and to reactivate your customers.
Manage your Office from Anywhere with WeaveI couldn't have been as effective nor efficient without Weave. We, like a lot of offices, had to close down and thanks to Weave I could text everyone, send out email blasts, work from home, answer patients' questions and concerns quickly. Although as an OM this has been the most stressful 2 weeks of my career, Weave has made it more manageable. - Weave Customer Schedule Demo
Digital payment options
Payment collection is more complicated when you’re working remotely. Traditionally, payments are handled at your front desk, over the phone, or by mail. However, recent years have seen a shift to more digital payments, which can be collected even when you’re away from the office.
Digital payments are collected through payment requests sent by text. From your mobile app, use a personalized template combined with a link to a payments page to compose a short message for your patients. Once patients receive this text, they’re able to pay from the parking lot or from home.
Internal office chat
Doctors working remotely can’t just walk up to the front desk to ask questions or make requests of their team. They have to call or text. An optimization of this communication between employees can be handled with a team chat that’s installed on the smartphone of everyone in your office.
86% of employees cite a lack of collaboration for workplace failures.¹ This ineffective communication is only exacerbated at a time when people are working from home more than ever. To avoid letting information fall through the cracks, communicate with your team through a chat that supports HIPAA compliant communications.
An analytics interface
For businesses of all types and sizes, collecting and interpreting data has become incredibly important in recent decades. Medical practices are no different. Offices are looking for ways to gather and understand key statistics about the health of their organization.
Doctors working remotely can access data about call volume, call times, unscheduled patients, and outstanding payments through a user-friendly analytics interface. These individual metrics allow you to get an overall idea of how your practice is performing, even if you’re out of the office.
Email marketing campaigns
Though many practices utilize email as a method for communicating with patients, not everyone is maximizing the potential of email. Basic email formatting doesn’t grab the attention of your patients the same way as professional email marketing. Luckily, tools now exist to help offices compose successful email campaigns like the pros.
Email marketing software gives your office features like pre-written templates and an image library to ensure that your practice’s emails use words and images optimally. It also enables you to place CTA (Call to Action) buttons in your emails, letting patients take action by scheduling appointments and making payments.
In the past, doctors’ offices have advertised by word-of-mouth, in the local paper and on the radio, and through billboards and public appearances. Today, marketing has turned its primary attention to online settings. To build your reputation as a practice, you need to update your website, establish a social media presence, and gather online reviews.
A tool that allows you to request and monitor online reviews lets you keep tabs on your review status even when you’re working remotely. Send texted review requests, manually or automatically, to your patients following their appointments. Once they post reviews on popular sites, like Google and Facebook, use an interface on your smartphone to check on your star-rating and be notified about new comments.
Remember fax machines? Those big clunky boxes that made alien noises? Well, they’re still around and run a bit smoother than they used to. However, you can’t lug a fax machine around when you’re working out of the office.
With the right communication tool, you and your employees can send and receive texts from the palm of your hands. Take a picture of important documents, then ship it to patients, insurance companies, or coworkers digitally. Being able to conveniently send documents with your mobile device is especially useful in situations where paperwork needs to be accessed right away.
Communicate remotely with Weave’s mobile app
Weave has created a mobile app that lets doctors access our business toolbox while working remotely. Thanks to our VoIP phone system, you can handle texts and see patient profiles just like you would in the office. Scheduling is significantly easier to do from home now that it’s part of our mobile app feature suite.
Weave’s mobile app also facilitates conversations with workers in the office through our team chat. You can continue to request and monitor online reviews from patients if you’re working remotely, and can even send and receive faxes from your smartphone.
To find out more about the tools available in Weave’s mobile app, schedule a demo today.