Dear Doctor – There is a Simple Reason I am Not Seeing You Yet

Dear Doctor Card

As we enter the “new normal”, you will probably get more and more phone calls, e-mails, and letters reminding you about missed medical appointments, dentist checkups, vaccinations, etc.

Doctors want to see us, and want to get back to their normal volume of patient visits; however, they are forgetting one critical piece of information in their communications: What have they done to keep patients safe during their visits?

It might sound trivial, but this is expected as a consumer – we want to know what you have done for us.

Patients want to know what their experience will look like post-COVID, and what is being done to protect them and their loved ones from a potential exposure.

Here are some key points to consider including in your letter, adding to your website, or having your office staff convey when trying to rebook appointments:

Providers and patients will see benefits from these powerful tools. Patient wait times and status updates are all driven by location movements and don’t require manual intervention from staff, leaving them free to go about their work while knowing patients and their families are getting the information they need. Because of this, the enhanced patient experience comes at no additional resource cost.

  1. Arrival: What do you expect me to do when I arrive for my appointment?
    Should I text you that I am here? Should I walk inside or stay in my car? Will you take my temperature at the registration? – I want to know.

  2. Visit: How will you ensure that my visit is quick and without delays?
    What are you doing differently? Are you limiting the number of patients you are seeing daily? Have you implemented tools to help you understand and be notified of my wait/idle time? – I want to know.

  3. Safety Measures: What are you doing to keep me safe while I am in your office?
    Will you have masks ready for me or do I need to bring my own? Do you have sanitizing stations available? How do you clean your exam rooms between patients? How do you know which areas of your facility require special cleaning attention due to a high volume of people? – I want to know.

  4. Family Updates: How will you keep my loved-ones informed?
    If a family member drives me to an appointment, how will they know how close I am to ending my appointment? How will they know that I am ready to be picked up? Will they get an automated text message? – I want to know.

  5. Potential Exposure: How are you going to know if I was exposed?
    If a patient or staff member was diagnosed with COVID-19, how will you know if I was exposed directly or indirectly? Will you be able to tell me how long I was in the same place with the infected person, and when? – I want to know.

Are we asking too much? No, we are just asking you to let us know what our “new-normal” patient experience is going to look like and how you are going to keep us safe.

So, before you start calling and texting to schedule my next appointment, sit down and write out your COVID-Safe Environment procedures and let me know about them.

If you see gaps in your processes, you are not alone. There are many vendors and tools you can quickly and affordably deploy to make patient visits safer. It is that simple, and it is the only reason we are not seeing you yet.

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CenTrak provides facilities with data-driven insights, creates a safe and efficient environment for staff, and enhances the healthcare experience for patients, residents, and their families.