Q: Can we send an email to our recent patients to inform them that we are open during the current COVID restrictions?
We know that some patients are reluctant to see their care provider in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are worried that they may have to wait in a crowded waiting room, or they are concerned about the possibility of waiting outside in the cold. They may not know about new care options, such as a phone consultations or video meetings.
Can we email our patients to let them know how we are addressing their concerns?
Update – This works for letting your patients know that you are offering vaccinations, too!
A: Yes, with certain limitations
In my opinion, if you are reaching out to **recent** patients / clients to assist them with their **current** health care questions, it is OK to send an email to let them know how you can provide health services within the current pandemic restrictions.
Here are some tips to help you review or create your procedures how to use email with your patients.
- Make sure you have previously collected a patient's email address and their consent (verbal is OK, written is better) to use their email address for health service related messages before emailing them.
- Do not accept work email addresses for patients; it must be a personal email address for the patient.
- Update the patient’s demographic information, including the email address, regularly. Make this part of your process every visit as part of your identity verification.
- Update the patient's consent to use their email address every time you have an in-person or telephone conversation with the patient.
- Use a script for calling patients to update information and to get consent for using their email address
Use the EMR system to send patients appointment reminders or patient education resources related to their recent visit.
If you also want to send your patients engaging articles about your healthcare providers, services that you provide, or classes or products that you sell, I suggest that you use a system different from your EMR. Use an autoresponder email system to send your patients marketing materials, engaging articles and other pieces of information on a separate marketing email platform. Remember, your patient must opt-in to consent to receive information from you using your auto-responder system.
There are many autoresponder systems to select from, including MailChimp, Active Campaign, Constant Contact and many more.
Join me on the FAQ video to find out when you can email patients during COVID. Click the button below to watch!
Interested in learning more about Email Marketing to your patients / clients?
Check out this blog from Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Email Marketing For Physical Therapists & Chiropractors by CallHero .
If you use Social Media to connect with your patients / clients, you might need the Practice Management Success Tip Social Media Management.
Get it here!