How One Superstar Doctor Uses Social Media to Benefit Patients

Medical answering services are one way of staying in touch with patients, however one doctor’s ability to connect with patients via social media is gaining him a lot of press. Dr. Kevin Campbell, MD, FACC and internationally-recognized cardiologist has earned a reputation as a “social media evangelist” given his predisposition for this relatively new medical marketing medium. Improving outcomes In addition to using social media as a marketing tool, Campbell also uses social media to collaborate and stay connected with colleagues, as well as to educate and engage patients. In these roles, social media offers an array of advantages for medical professionals. A powerful tool Five years ago, when someone suggested he use social media, he immediately recognized its powerful marketing capabilities: Education and outreach. Getting information in the hands of those in need is often a key challenge to improving health. Social media makes this delivery a snap. Communicating...
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No-Call/No-Shows Costing You? Trim the Fat with Text Messaging Appointment Reminders

You employ the help of medical call center services to keep you informed of patient needs, but are you keeping patients informed of yours? ­Missed appointment are bad for everyone, mucking up the works for your staff and your patients. Unfortunately, reminder postcards get mixed-up in the mail, your unfamiliar number (and phone reminders) unanswered, and email alerts immediately allocated to a spam wasteland. Wish there was a better way? There is: Transactional text messaging reminders. A little different, a lot to like. Unlike marketing messages, transactional messages which facilitate, confirm, or complete a previously agreed upon transaction aren’t bound by consent. Transactional messages include appointment and checkup reminders – but do NOT include reminders to schedule upcoming appointments, inform patients of new services (advertising), or health tips, which require patient consent by law. Getting patients on-board. Thankfully, getting patients involved is an easy feat, especially when you explain how...
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Texting? When Do You Need Specific Patient Consent?

Text messaging, also known as SMS, is blowing up, and with good reason. Even top medical call center services utilize texting. Uber-effective, 98% of text recipients read messages – 90% within 3 minutes. Offering simple and effective communication, healthcare providers are scrambling to take advantage of its high contact and rapid response rate. But not so fast – using text incorrectly could land you in some seriously hot water. Avoiding liability: The devil’s in the details. There are typically two types of text messages from healthcare practices: marketing, and transactional. Transactional messages facilitate, confirm, or complete a previously agreed upon transaction – specifically appointment or checkup reminders – and as such are not bound by consent. Transactional messages do NOT include reminders to schedule upcoming appointments, nor do they cover marketing messages informing patients of new services or health tips – all of which require patient consent by law. What...
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Teach Your Office Staff Better Phone Etiquette

Are your doctor answering services positively or negatively Affecting your business? The best call centers know phone etiquette and customer service are essential to patient retention. Phone tips from the pros who know point to these 7 etiquette essentials: 1. Make it quick. Long wait times can make potential patients wonder if your office is understaffed. Excessive ringing can also irritate patients and staff, creating a negative atmosphere. 2. Don’t assume. Always ask permission before putting calls on hold – it’s more polite. 3. Say it with a smile. Smiling during every call creates a friendly, energetic air that is contagious. 4. Slow down and pay attention. We know you’re busy, but rushed calls can create confusion. Be sure to use moderate speed to convey words and instructions in a clear, understandable way. Moderate your volume as well, raising your tone to indicate key points or clarifications. Be mindful of...
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HIPAA Raises the Bar on Text Messages — What You Need to Know

Recent changes to HIPAA raise questions as to the compliancy of text messaging. Rest assured texting remains compliant, however the devil is in the details when it comes to the use of this messaging medium by your office or medical answering services. Why the changes? Recent HIPAA revisions acknowledge the commonality of texting in today’s mobile world, but identify the possibility of data compromise as vast (Wi-Fi/open cell networks, mobile device loss/theft), thus requiring: The development of processes and procedures indicating who has access to private health information (PHI) and how it is used. Risk assessments be periodically conducted to identify potential threats to PHI data integrity. Established procedures on how breaches will be addressed, including cyber-threats, lost/theft, and proper device disposal procedures, such as the remote deletion of PHI. (Timely remotely deletion exempts the need to report breaches to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).) Encryption and physical data...
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