Winnipeg – In the rapidly evolving landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, outpatient healthcare service providers have recognized that a technology gap is preventing them from effectively communicating with their patients at scale.
In the first half of 2020 along, clinics have closed, re-opened, changed their hours of operation, offered virtual care, or required patients to follow certain procedures for face-to-face visits, and providers have struggled to inform their patients of the latest changes. "With government mandates and practitioner associations [and] colleges changing their requirements for treatment almost on a weekly basis," says Crystal Waldrum, Clinic Operations Manager of Optimum Wellness Centres, "the challenge has been how to communicate this with patients."
In response to the challenges presented by COVID-19, Canadian EMR company Juvonno is bridging providers' technology gaps with innovative software solutions." Once the pandemic hit, we recognized there would be an immediate need for clinics to communicate their response plans effectively with patients," explains Patty Romeo, Vice President of Marketing at Juvonno. "That's when we decided to release JComm ahead of schedule."
JComm enables clinics to send mass emails and texts to patients based on customizable criteria, like appointment history, demographics, or insurance details. To simplify the task for clinics, Juvonno created a pre-templated message for clinics to announce their COVID-19 response plan. "Within days of the release," says Romeo, "over 100,000 messages were sent using JComm."
Optimum Wellness Centres (OWC), which provides a wide array of healthcare services, including physiotherapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic therapy, began using JComm when the province of Alberta allowed non-essential health facilities to re-open their doors. With 23 clinics in Alberta and Ontario, OWC had tens of thousands of patients with whom they needed to communicate the Phase 1 reopening of their clinics. "JComm made it significantly easier to communicate with patients," Waldrum remarked, "We were able to craft both a mass email and text to our patrons in minutes."
Once messages are sent, Juvonno tracks real-time statistics showing which patients received, unsubscribed, clicked, or failed to receive the emails or texts. This helps clinics understand the success of their communication, like who may not have received the message.
By augmenting Juvonno with email and text capabilities, JComm has eliminated the need for clinics to shuffle information between their EMRs and third-party communication tools, like MailChimp. "Because JComm pulls patient [information] directly from our EMR," says Waldrum, "our email lists continuously update automatically." Waldrum estimates that JComm has cut the time and effort needed to send mass communications in half.
In addition, sending mass communications by text message would not have been an option for OWC without JComm. "[Patients] enjoy that they can receive messages via text, and not to their inbox where [they] get lost," says Waldrum. "They also like the flexibility of being able to control what content they receive and when they receive it."
The features of JComm, however extend beyond addressing the immediate needs of clinics created by the pandemic. Many touch points throughout the patient experience can be automated with JComm.
A key performance indicator that many clinics track and care about is their re-booking rate. The follow-up processes required to maintain a health re-booking rate commonly involve telephone calls that eat up hours of the work day. These follow-up processes can be easily automated with JComm.
JComm comes equipped with pre-built templates for post-appointment patient satisfaction surveys, outcome measures, outstanding payment reminders, and insurance renewal notifications. These templates help clinics improve their communication quickly and easily. "Being able to use pre-templated messages," Waldrum remarked, "has been extraordinary."
Juvonno can also help clinics to implement a consistent patient follow-up process. "Clinics can use our Patient Insights tool to craft and automate messages to patients based on specific criteria," explains Romeo. "For example, a clinic could automate messages based on services received, the treating practitioner, or the patient's last appointment date." With JComm taking care of messages that are suitable for automation, staff then have more time to reach out to patients by phone when human touch is required.
But communication needs to go in both directions, and JComm offers clinics this ability as well. "Survey features are our most anticipated need," says Waldrum, "as feedback from patients is extremely important to us. We strive to provide the best level of services and experience for our patients, and having a quick accessible response from patients is key."
Ultimately, JComm is helping providers more effectively engage and communicate with their patients. "We're very excited about the possibilities with [JComm]," says Waldrum, "and look forward to what Juvonno comes up with next."
Juvonno is a long-standing software company that provides an all-in-one solution for managing electronic medical records (EMR), scheduling, billing, patient engagement, and analytics to more than 400 clinics and 4,000+ healthcare professionals across Canada.