When Mother Nature strikes (Part 2: Keep in contact)
In part one of our blog series on protecting your practice from natural disaster, we looked at ways to prepare for all types of weather emergencies. Now, we tackle the importance of communication with employees and patients.
Communication with employees — letting them know when to come in and when to stay home — is as important as communication with patients. This article from Inc. Magazine stresses the importance of keeping in contact with employees during inclement weather and offers tips for forming a plan.
As practice administrator at Medical Colleagues of Texas (MCT), Ethan Bing usually takes the lead on reaching out to patients, while the payroll administrator handles communications with employees.
One way MCT communicates with patients is through Greenway Marketplace Partner Updox, a collaboration platform that facilitates effective communication with providers and patients in remote locations.
During Hurricane Harvey in the summer of 2017, the practice had to close for about four business days. Although practice staff members didn’t know when the flooding would subside, they used Updox to send out blast notifications to patients. They also communicated through the practice’s website, its Google presence, and Greenway’s Patient Portal.
“It is imperative to communicate with patients in times of disaster,” Ethan said. “Oftentimes, alternative care can be sought when we proactively communicate.”
“It is imperative to communicate with patients in times of disaster. Oftentimes, alternative care can be sought when we proactively communicate.”
Ethan Bing, practice administrator at Medical Colleagues of Texas
During Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in Florida on Sept. 10, 2017, social media made a difference for practices and patients in the Sunshine State.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Florida residents relied more on social media alerts from first responders and government officials than more established emergency response methods.
A Facebook or Twitter update can transmit timely information to patients. Phone trees, mass emails, and website updates are other ways to share information. It’s best to reach out in through multiple channels, because people are likely to have different levels of access and preference.
What are the next steps for a practice after a natural disaster? Read part three of the blog series to find out.
For more information, CLICK HERE to schedule a conversation with a Greenway representative. Or watch our 3-minute overview video HERE.