9 Things Every Medical Centre Should Do Before Christmas

1. Change your opening hours on Google My Business, your website, and your social media channels

Make sure anyone who Googles your clinic during the holiday break can immediately see whether you’re open or closed by updating your hours on your website, social media pages, and Google My Business listing.


To set holiday hours in Google My Business:


1. Go to Google My Business

2. If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage

3. Click the Special hours section

4. Click Confirm hours next to an upcoming holiday, or click Add new date to choose a different date

5. Enter the opening times for those days that are different to normal

    • Slide the circle to “Closed” to indicate that the location is closed all day
    • If you’re open 24 hours, click Opens at and select 24 hours from the dropdown menu that appears
    • If you enter closing hours past midnight, make sure to set them properly

6. When you’ve finished entering all of your special hours, click Apply (Note: Your special hours will appear to customers on Google only for the designated days)


To set holiday hours in Facebook:


1. Click About on the left side of your Page

2. Click Edit Page Info

3. Click the Hours tab at the top

4. Add your hours and click Save Changes

2. Update your email signature and out-of-office responder

Also be sure to add your holiday opening hours and emergency numbers to your email signature and any out-of-office email auto-responders you have set up.  


Here are some helpful resources:


Microsoft Outlook:


3. Prepare your preventative health campaigns for January

“We recently dug into the data from 165,000 HotDoc patients who showed interest in a preventative health initiative. We found patients are most responsive to almost all preventative health campaigns in January”.

The campaigns we tested patient response on included: skin checks, flu clinics, cervical screening tests, bowel cancer, fall prevention, asthma, shingles vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine, heart health check, and travel vaccines.


These campaigns were sent by HotDoc clinics using HotDoc Inform, or more specifically, HotDoc Inform Promotions. Inform Promotions are soft-touch display ads, which can be set to appear after a patient has booked an appointment or confirmed an appointment reminder through HotDoc, or checked in via HotDoc Check-In.


While almost all campaigns performed best in January, the highest performing campaigns were:


  1. Cervical screening
  2. Shingles vaccine
  3. Skin checks


This said, we encourage clinics to consider running a campaign around one or more of these initiatives when they return to work in January.


If you do decide to do this, however, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready to go prior to Christmas so you can hit the ground running in January.

Read more: What are the Top Performing Preventative Health Campaigns and When is the Best Time of Year to Run Them?

4. Notify patients about your holiday hours, and thank them for their loyalty

How do you usually communicate with your patients? SMS, email, in person? Why not use this medium to notify your patients about your holiday hours and thank them for their loyalty.


You could send patients a Christmas newsletter doing a bit of a wrap up for the year. You could also send them an SMS informing them of your holiday hours and wishing them a restful break.


Alternatively, you could encourage your reception team to thank your patients in person on check-out.

5. Decorate your waiting room

Lighten up your clinic and get into the festive spirit by decorating your waiting room. You don’t have to go overboard or pigeonhole yourself by sticking to just Christmas decorations. Anything that lifts the mood will be a refreshing change for patients.

6. Change your ‘on-hold’ messages

If possible, set up a separate ‘on-hold’ message for the time your clinic is closed for Christmas and New Years. In the message, include clear instructions on the days and times you are open, and what patients should do in the case of an emergency.

7. Get your 2020 business goals on paper

Kickstart 2020 the right way by returning in January with a clear plan of action. To help you formulate this plan, join our webinar: business planning & goal setting 2020. The webinar will be presented by special guest, Riwka Hagen, an accomplished business and project manager who works as Principle Consultant at Medical Business Services.

8. Treat your staff

Let your staff know how much they mean to you by organising a small personal gift for each of them. And of course, treat the entire team to a Christmas party to celebrate all their hard work.

9. Remember those less fortunate

Give to those in need by setting up a donation station in your clinic to collect toys, gifts and clothes for those in need. You could also host a morning tea at your clinic to raise money for a cause like The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal


Here are some other Christmas Appeals you may also want to support:


Vinnies Christmas Appeal

CanTeen Christmas Appeal‎

World Vision Christmas Appeal

Mission Australia Christmas Appeal

Lifeline Christmas Appeal

The Heart Foundation Christmas Appeal

Pets Of The Homeless Australia Christmas Appeal

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