OhMD, a healthcare communications platform vendor, is offering a free version of its patient-texting platform to healthcare-provider organizations to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through more effective and instantaneous communications between patients and medical practices.
The company says thousands of practices and hospitals in all 50 states already use the OhMD platform for patient engagement and communication.
WHY IT MATTERS
Nurture Pediatrics in Houston is asking that patients text them before entering the office. It has a sign on their front door telling patients to text the practice and go back to their car. The practice then communicates with the patient via text before having them enter the office.
Nurture Pediatrics sends nurses out to the cars with PPE (personal protective equipment) to take temperatures or swabs patients. It is using two-way text to allay patient concerns when it would not be manageable with patient phone calls.
“My practice is relying heavily on secure texting right now,” says Dr. Janet Pate, pediatrician at Nurture Pediatrics in Houston, Texas. “Our team is able to ask questions about travel history and decide if the patient should come into the office. We are also asking that patients text us upon arrival for their appointment so we can remotely assess their condition before they enter the office.”
THE LARGER TREND
Text messaging has become a popular communication method between providers and patients. Text messaging enables effective communications to happen during an epidemic or major outbreak such as COVID-19, while simultaneously enabling social distancing, an important recommendation that can be issued by national health officials.
Many of today’s healthcare practices and hospitals use two-way SMS texting to communicate with patients rather than phone calls, email or in-office appointments. Through the use of this free communications platform, provider organizations can instantly and safely discuss patients’ travel history, symptoms, treatment and concerns before they arrive in person at a waiting room.
ON THE RECORD
“Healthcare providers are acting as quickly as they can to respond to COVID-19 cases, but the sense of urgency in helping them communicate with patients about virus updates, outbreaks, patient status and treatments cannot be understated,” says OhMD Co-founder Ethan Bechtel. “With COVID-19, isolation is critical. OhMD is offering healthcare providers and patients a platform to communicate online without risk of contagion from in-person communications.”
OhMD has taken the most important features from its premium plan and is providing it at no cost to healthcare practices and hospitals until the COVID-19 risk subsides, he added.
For more information on obtaining the free version of the platform, click here.
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Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.
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