Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge under the best circumstances. When checking in for appointments, it can be even more challenging. Visiting the chiropractor can be stressful in a time when we’re cautioned against being around too many people at once, yet it is necessary.
Offer reassurance to your patients that it’s safe to schedule a chiropractic appointment, and then institute a few changes that will protect your patients and staff from COVID-19.
Set Your Patients at Ease
During this global crisis, people have been hesitant to visit healthcare practitioners. While establishing a fast, easy, clean check-in process is very important, setting your patients’ minds at ease is the first step in getting them back in your office.
Remind your patients that the point of chiropractic care isn’t just to align the spine. It’s designed to care for the whole person, including the immune and nervous systems. Health is the No. 1 goal and focus in the world right now, and chiropractors are uniquely positioned to respond to that need.
Create a plan that ensures the health and safety of your patients, then share that with your patients. Consider reaching out to former patients and checking in on them. Reconnecting with former patients is a move that can be beneficial for both the doctor and the patient. Former clients may be more likely to return if they’re educated about the benefits of chiropractic care for the immune system, and they may be encouraged by the fact that you have a plan for their safety.
While most areas of the country are no longer under lock down, people are still spending more time at home. Reach new and old patients through social media as well as through phone calls and emails. It’s just another way to connect with your community and encourage people back to your practice.
Make sure your plan keeps your staff and patients safe and healthy. The CDC recommends taking the following precautions:
- Consider adding more telehealth options, which are offered by Platinum
- Ask patients about their symptoms when they first schedule their appointment
- Provide supplies in the lobby at the doctor’s office, including tissues, alcohol-based hand rub, soap and trash cans
- Place chairs 3-6 feet apart in the waiting area
- Remove or regularly clean toys, magazines, or other communal objects
- Offer masks for your patients’ use
- Once your patients leave, clean all frequently touched surfaces
- Recognize the symptoms of COVID-19: these include fever, cough and shortness of breath
One way clinics across the country are handling patient and staff safety is by instituting virtual check-ins. While electronic check-ins have been used in clinical settings for years, even that system doesn’t work anymore because everyone has their hands on the same computer screen. Most practices want to avoid having people use the same pens, including pens used on screens.
Platinum Offers Innovative Check-In Solutions
Platinum offers patients a Chiropractic Health Card or Key Tag. Patients can even download these cards on their cell phone, which cuts down on any physical contact between the front desk staff and the patient.
Patients scan their card or phone with infrared bar code scanners when they check in at the office — and with the doctor as well — to pull up their file. This is a great way to remain compliant with all the rules, and the only physical contact a patient has is when they’re laying on the chiropractic table. The patient’s entire chiropractic history is pulled up for the doctor, including SOAP notes, thermal scans and visit history.
Some clinics are requesting that patients call the office or send a text when they arrive, and then offer patients the opportunity to use their Platinum card. If the patient hasn’t downloaded the card to their phone, the physical cards can be scanned with 2D readers that don’t require patients to touch anything.
Minimize Physical Contact During Check-In
Many offices also offer their patients the ability to text their office once they arrive so that they don’t have to wait in a lobby. Staff members then let them know when they can come inside and which room to go to.
While these precautions are designed to protect patients and the health of staff members, they come with an additional silver lining: streamlined services. Long lines and wait times are eliminated through these virtual check-ins and the only interaction patients have is with their doctor.
Even payments and the entire billing process can be handled through Platinum, allowing patients to quickly make payments without even stopping at the front desk.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way we do many things, a few simple process updates in your practice can make handling these changes in our day-to-day safer. By reducing stress for both the patient and your front desk staff, your patients have confidence in the safety of their visit and are more likely to continue their chiropractic care plans during this crisis. The check-in process is your patient’s introduction to your practice, so make sure it’s seamless, manageable and, safe!
Are you looking for tools that can help you put the health and safety of your patients first? Schedule a demo today and see how Platinum can help. To see everything that Platinum has to offer, read more about our features here.