When calling a healthcare facility, many callers expect to be put on hold for a brief period of time. If hold time is used effectively, information provided in the program educates callers while they are waiting for an available staff member. If planned carefully, the hold message will address frequent queries. When there is an impending emergency, healthcare facilities can benefit from having a special Message on Hold program that focuses on the emergency situation directly. By tailoring communications to reflect current events and concerns, healthcare facilities can spread important messages and instill confidence in patients.
Message on Hold can be used by health centers in the following situations:
- A Weather Emergency: If you live in an area where you have seasonally bad weather, like blizzards or hurricanes, consider putting instructions for inclement weather. This could include instructions for avoiding or treating heatstroke, what actions to take during a tornado, or safety tips for shoveling snow. This information is important and potentially lifesaving for your callers.
- Vaccine Information: If there are certain in-demand vaccines, be sure to mention them in your phone programming. Including information about sought after vaccinations in your Message on Hold can help many callers before they reach your facility. If you have an ample supply of the flu shot, let callers know how to make an appointment or when they can come in to receive it. If you have a scant volume of a vaccine, let callers know which medical groups still have an ample supply, or let them know when your facility should be getting more. By giving this information to callers while they are holding, they will be prepared when they speak to you.
- Fighting Disease: When the infamous H1N1 virus plagued the world in 2009, everyone was looking for ways to avoid catching the "swine flu." Hospitals and other healthcare facilities became major contact points for information about the disease, from individuals and journalists alike. To deal with high call volume and inquires, phone recordings were created to provide crucial details about preventing the spread of the virus.
More than marketing or entertaining,Message on Hold for healthcare facilities is one of the most effective ways to get the message out in emergencies. By updating your message when you have urgent, time sensitive information to communicate, your patients will stay informed about current events and feel confident with your facility.