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COVID-19: How to Keep Your Patients in the Loop

By Planet DDS
March 31, 2020

As Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to cause mass closures and escalating fears, all of us need guidance and reassurance through these challenging times — especially your patients. At Legwork, we believe we’re all in this together, so we’ve compiled ways that you can help reassure and keep in touch with your patients during this uncertain season.

Step 1: Send an email to your patients.

Have you temporarily closed due to government order? Is your practice staying open for emergency procedures only? Once you’ve consulted state, local, and CDC guidelines , and determined your course of action, it’s time to send an email. Emailing your patients will be the best way to keep in touch with them over the coming weeks. First off you can update them on your business hours and offer the chance to reschedule or defer upcoming treatments. Longer-term, email provides an avenue to stay top of mind with patients, so they’ll know to reschedule once life returns to normal. Legwork customers have access to a pre-written COVID-19 email template, which you can edit to suit your specific needs and practices. Learn how to access this template at our support page .

Step 2: Text your patients to notify them of a change in services, schedule, or office closure.

As mandates and restrictions are evolving by the day, you may need to communicate on short notice. If that’s the case, notifying your patients as soon as possible is essential. That’s an ideal use for text messaging. Text messages are the best way to send immediate, short-form communications. We don’t recommend using text for routine messages or extended updates — it’s hard to keep the format consistent across all models of phone, and excessive messaging can prompt patients to unsubscribe. But for fast updates, there’s no better option. Keep your text messages under 140 characters for best results. Here’s an SMS-friendly sample message that you can use as a basis for your own communications:

Hello, [[Account Name]] is only open for emergency service for the next two weeks per CDC regulations. Call [[Account Office Number]] if you need to reschedule.

Step 3: Post updates to your social channels to keep patients up to date.

You’ve probably noticed a flood of COVID-19 emails in your own inbox lately. Your patients are likely seeing the same, so you don’t want to add too much to the deluge. Social media channels are a superior option for less urgent, ongoing communications. Post to your blog and Facebook page to share updates on your practice’s operations, so it’s the first thing patients find when they check your web presence. These platforms are also great for sharing verified news and information. By providing valuable, relevant content, patients will turn to you as a trusted resource, and will keep you top of mind even as they spend weeks away from your practice.