Broadcasting is the ability to send out readily identifiable, standardized messaging from a single source—your practice. It’s a powerful tool that gives you the ability to quickly reach your patients with important information, whether it’s text-based content, a link to a video or data-capture form, or something else entirely.
As a leading solution for all healthcare communications needs, Updox offers a robust Broadcast messaging tool. In this article, we chat with Updox founder Dr. Andrew Barbash, MD, to get his thoughts on why Broadcast is an important tool for the modern practice.
What is broadcast messaging and what problems does it solve?
“Standard texting allows the practice to communicate via text message with an individual. Broadcast messaging allows your practice to send one text to all your patients or a specific group of patients,” says Dr. Barbash.
Updox Broadcast lets you build groups from your contacts and save them for future use, create messaging templates for a more efficient workflow, and include links within your messages.
“You want to be able to use templates, so if you’re sending the same broadcast message out to different groups, or you’re sending it repeatedly, such as a flu shot announcement, you don’t have to keep typing in the same thing,” says Dr. Barbash. “It’s very helpful to be able to insert things like a form for capturing information or a link to set up an appointment.”
Your practice can track how your audience interacts with Broadcast messages as well. This lets you monitor important performance data, like what was opened and what wasn’t, so you can improve your messaging over time.
Who would best benefit from broadcast capabilities?
“Broadcast messaging will help your office staff save time and be more effective. Being able to efficiently manage exactly who’s getting what kind of content is a big step in running a modern practice” says Dr. Barbash, “Since they’re likely the same people who would be fielding incoming phone calls or scheduling appointments as well, including those functions as part of the broadcast message helps to streamline their workflows even further.”
Patients and their families also benefit from getting information via text, which is a familiar, convenient, and timely way to communicate.
“Being able to efficiently manage exactly who’s getting what kind of content is a big step in running an efficient modern practice,” says Dr. Barbash.
Flu season, back-to-school, and other seasonal reasons to broadcast
“Here’s an example of Broadcast in action. If you have Updox integrated with your EHR, it pulls the patients and their demographics into the Updox address book,” says Dr. Barbash, “You can then filter by age and only select people who meet certain criteria, let’s say patients of a certain age group—from middle school to high school.”
“When the school year starts, you now can send a quick notification to all parents of patients between the ages of 13 and 17, reminding them to come in for an office visit. You can attach a form that allows them to either request an appointment, make a comment back, ask a question, and so on. Those responses come right back to the inbox and oh, by the way, you could’ve also configured that form so it automatically gets tagged and assigned to the right people in your practice,” he says.
Dr. Barbash goes gives another example workflow built around announcing news regarding a flu vaccine.
“Say there was a change in the vaccine, or there was a new indication, and some follow-up needs to be done for specific populations—like children who have asthma or diabetes. Well, it’s very easy in Updox to actually arrange a registry within your broadcast of all 15-year-old asthmatic patients. It’s not all automatically done right from your EMR, but it’s very easy to do that in Updox.”
“Once you’ve got a group of people who meet the criteria you want, you can opt what kind of message to send them,” he continues “In this case, it’s updates about the vaccine, or some information about potential side effects and what action you want them to take. Again, this could be scheduling an appointment or maybe scheduling a quick video chat just to answer some questions.”
Dr. Barbash goes on to explain how broadcast messaging would also be a perfect medium for offering assessments during youth sports signups as well.
“Maybe a practice will decide that they’ll offer a sports-related evaluation by a nurse practitioner or someone else in the practice at a set fee. A broadcast can be sent out to a group who meets the criteria, offering them an easy signup for a virtual visit. Someone then takes the entries, puts them into a broadcast group, sends out an invitation, and your audience clicks back on a form that lets them schedule their visits.”
Your practice could use a similar workflow to gather attendees for a webinar or other informational session. Broadcast is also an excellent tool for sending out notifications to a larger audience, such as when your office is closed for the holidays.
What makes Updox Broadcast unique?
As a platform designed by physicians for physicians, Updox stands out from its competition in a number of ways. As Dr. Barbash explains, “Whether it’s a Broadcast message, an electronic fax, an uploaded document—whatever it is—everything gets treated the same way. It’s the interconnectedness of the features and the universal inbox that makes it so unique.”
Updox gives you the ability to create unique forms, attach them within outbound messages to a specific group of people, both by text and by email. You or your staff can take what’s received via the Inbox and act on it, whether that’s adding information to a patient’s chart, reassigning items to another physician, or tagging someone for a follow-up conversation.
“It all comes back to that universal inbox, where fax, email, text, and everything else all come together,” says Dr. Barbash, “Everything gets treated the same way, and that you have this universal address book for patients, providers, and others you’re connected with. It’s the glue that gives Updox a very unique value proposition when it comes to providing any one of these kinds of features. And all that makes very efficient to carry out tasks at your practice.”
“I think that, in terms of reputation with patients, nothing creates better relationships than highly reliable communication,” he says, “Broadcast is an innovative way to inform patients about upcoming events, ask them to take actions, or simply provide information that is particularly relevant to them and their needs.”
If you’re interested in how Broadcast can help your practice operate more effectively, schedule your personalized demo today!