There are few things more frustrating than going to a place of business and discovering they’re closed when you were expecting them to be open. Yet, as frustrating as that experience is, imagine how a patient experiencing a medical emergency feels when it happens to them and they’re bleeding or in pain.
How can you prevent this from occurring? What is the most effective way to communicate to your patients the after hours support your clinic provides? We have the answer here.
1. Hang a Sign
Ironically, most clinics fail to list their after hours support on the door or window of their clinic. However, this is the perfect place for it. Since all of your patients visit your clinic multiple times over the course of your relationship, it’s safe to say that virtually all of them will notice the after hours sign on one of those visits. But don’t stop there. The more ways you communicate this information to your patients, the more likely they’ll feel confident they know what to do should an after hours emergency arise.
2. Record an After Hours Message
You probably already have a regular on-hold message that you use throughout the daytime. This is great but it’s also a good idea to have an after hours message that you use once your clinic is closed for the day. In this message, clearly delineate who your patients should call or visit if they’re having a high-priority medical issue after hours. This will make your patients feel valued and appreciated—rather than overlooked—should the worst occur.
3. Add Details to Your Website
In the same way that your website has the name, address, phone number, and office hours of your clinic, it should also include your after hours support information. As with your after hours voice recording, your website should detail what your patient should do if an urgent medical issue were to arise. Additionally, we recommend that you specify which patients you’ll assist after hours. For instance, some clinics only offer after hours support to patients of record. If that’s the case at your medical practice, specify that on your website to reduce unwanted phone calls.
4. Update Your Google+ Page
Google pulls business information from your Google+ page. It then uses this information to display it on the main page of search results, should someone use Google to search for your business. So, rather than neglecting your Google+ page (we know, there’s so much to do when you manage a busy practice!), we encourage you to keep it updated with your office hours. Make sure they’re current so people experiencing after hours emergencies can quickly look for medical assistance elsewhere.
Having read our suggestions, we recommend you use all 4 methods. This gives you the greatest likelihood of making sure all of your patients are informed about how to handle urgent medical issues. Additionally, communicating your after hours support information will lead patients to perceive your medical clinic as caring and professional. Clearly, it’s a win-win for patients and practices alike.