Hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other healthcare facilities walk a fine line between adopting contemporary, innovative technologies and appealing to consumers who associate healthcare with the nostalgic appeal of the family doctor. Although mobile phones have been around for a long time, smart phone market share continues to grow. The newer smartphone technology allows facilities to embrace new technology while still providing personalized, “old-fashioned” care.
A simple example: The text message. A few weeks ago, I scheduled an appointment with my dentist. The office manager asked me, “Would you like a receive a text message reminder?” I said yes, and promptly forgot about the appointment I’d made. The day before the appointment, I received a text from the office, reminding me of my appointment. The text also gave me the option to cancel or reschedule, if necessary.
Why it worked: As a patient, I welcomed the convenience and unobtrusiveness of a text. I was impressed that I was able to change my appointment directly from the reminder text. For providers who schedule appointments weeks or months in advance, it’s important to give patients enough time to move their appointment if something comes up. This system makes it easy for both parties, and encourages the patient to give the office plenty of notice.
More in-depth: The Intelligent IVR: Especially at large practices and facilities, an IVR system is the most efficient way to route calls to appropriate extensions. But an intelligent IVR does much more than that. It uses your callers’ mobile phone (either the number they call from or one they supply) to deliver offers that can range from appointment setting, to contest entries, to app downloads, directions, and more.
Why it works: Intelligent IVRs create a bridge between the three-dimensional and virtual worlds. Offering mobile options through an easy-to-use system makes patients feel at ease with your business. The content they receive is tailored to their own individual needs. It’s easy for consumers and can help to reduce call volume at a busy facility.
Adding mobile options to your office or facility’s offerings is beneficial. It propels you into the contemporary world, increases brand awareness, and gives patients the information they want in the way they want it, increasing engagement.
What’s your best experience with mobile technologies in healthcare facilities?
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