This sponsored article was written by Pia Mangini, Digital Content Manager at Coffey Communications. Coffey works exclusively in the healthcare industry and provides services such as healthcare SEO and website design.
Responding to the community need for COVID-19 testing and treatment is new ground. Because all pandemics develop within specific circumstances, and science has evolved since the last pandemic, COVID-19’s unique challenges require new solutions.
With the start of the first phase of vaccinations underway, providers and health systems are looking for a way to manage demand and the complex vaccine distribution process. Providers are finding new workflow challenges. Administrative burdens, streamlined distribution and reporting, and patient experience are just some of the difficulties faced by provider offices and healthcare systems.
To alleviate some of these challenges, providers must look for digital solutions to manage their vaccine programs and reach as many people as possible. The solution may be as close as their existing website - online scheduling.
Visitors to your website expect to reach you online and they want that experience to be seamless. Easy access to classes, appointment scheduling, maternity tours and other events through your website’s calendar technology not only frees up your busy call center, but also provides a user experience that healthcare consumers have come to expect.
Online scheduling is nothing new but typically allows patients to schedule an event or appointment at a specific date, location and time. By maximizing online scheduling capabilities, a provider or health system can manage more complex scheduling processes such as registering patients for COVID-19 vaccines offered on multiple days, times and locations. This eliminates the need to create a calendar event for each individual time slot or vaccine location.
Leveraging a website’s existing calendar function, and with encryption for secure transfer of personal health information, a user can register for their vaccine and provide payment and insurance information as required by their provider.
Some of the benefits to providers and patients include:
- Enables the provider to streamline their scheduling and gives them documentation for follow-up.
- Provides a good patient experience with a seamless approach to the patient registration process.
- Reduces administrative workflow challenges.
- Provides documentation for follow up with provider.
- Eliminates double bookings and data entry errors.
- Leverages a website’s existing calendar function.
- Assists in reporting to appropriate agencies.
- Frees up call centers.
- Provides an opportunity for communication/education.
- Convenience and speed.
- Real-time appointment availability.
Privacy and security
Consumers are concerned about the safety of their data and healthcare organizations have a responsibility to keep private information protected. Your site’s security measures shouldn’t only protect your organization’s best interests, they should also protect your patients.
You will need to be sure that the data your users submit is stored in a secure location. If the information you are collecting falls under HIPAA guidelines, check with your compliance officer to ensure you’ve followed the necessary steps. If your online scheduling has a payment component, make sure that your form builder can accept payments and that the solution you are using is PCI-compliant.