Since Covid 19, physical meetings seem a thing of the past. Working remotely via conference calls is more common now than ever. So, why not use it more often for other types of appointments? In this article, we will explore why General Practitioners (US: Family Physicians) should use live chat for consultations with their patients. This mode of communication can benefit all parties involved.
The Problem with Doctor’s Appointments
General Practitioners (GPs) are under immense pressure to see more patients within ever shorter time frames. This means that they are often rushed and may not have the time to give each patient the attention they need.
One way to alleviate this pressure is to offer patients the option of a live chat consult. This allows GPs or their assistants more time to answer questions and diagnose patients. It saves both the patient and the practice a lot of time.
Research shows that patients are prepared to use live chat with their GP. In a study among doctors and nurses (source: HPE), 76% of participants said they would use live chat again and would recommend it to others.
So, if you’re a GP who is struggling to keep up with demand, why not consider offering a live chat consult? It could make all the difference to your patients – and to your workload!
What Is Live Chat?
Live chat is a popular channel for businesses to communicate with their customers. It’s a real-time, text-based chat that happens right on a website. Live chat can also have features like video calls, file sharing, and appointment forms. Customers can use live chat to ask questions, get help with an issue, or even make a purchase.
5 Benefits of Using Live Chat
GPs need to use live chat because it’s an easy and efficient way to communicate with patients. It’s also a great way to build relationships with patients and get feedback about their experience.
1. Increased Patient Engagement
Live chat provides an easy way for patients to get in touch with their GP practice and ask questions or raise concerns. This can help to increase engagement with patients, as they feel more connected to their GP.
2. Improved Communication
Live chat can help to improve communication between GPs and patients. It can be used to clarify information or provide updates on appointments and test results.
3. Greater Convenience
Live chat is a convenient way for patients to contact their GP practice. It can be used at any time and from any location, which is especially beneficial for those who are unable to visit a practice in person.
4. Reduced Costs
Using live chat can help to reduce the costs associated with running a GP practice, as it eliminates the need for telephone calls and face-to-face consultations.
5. Increased Satisfaction
Patients who use live chat are generally more satisfied with the service they receive from their GP practice. This is because they feel more engaged and empowered to take control of their own health care.
How Live Chat Can Help Practices
There are many benefits to using live chat for GP practices, including:
Reducing the number of phone challenges
Live chat can help to reduce the number of phone calls that GP assistants have to deal with. Patients can use the chat function to ask simple questions or queries, which frees up time for assistants to deal with more complex cases.
Live chat can also help to improve communication between GPs and patients. It provides a written record of the conversation, which can be referred back to if needed. It also means that GPs can take their time to respond to patients’ queries, rather than feeling under pressure to answer quickly on the phone.
Live chat is a convenient way for patients to get in touch with their GP, as they can do so at a time that suits them. This is particularly useful for busy people who find it difficult to make time for a phone call during office hours.
Overall, live chat can be a valuable tool for GP practices, offering many benefits in terms of efficiency and communication.
Getting the Most out of Live Chat
If you’re a GP, then you know how important it is to be able to communicate with your patients. And what better way to do that than through live chat?
Live chat is a great way to keep in touch with your patients and build up a rapport with them. It’s also a great way to answer any questions they may have about their health.
Here are some tips on how to use live chat to your advantage:
Use it to keep in touch with your patients
Live chat is a great way to keep in touch with your patients. You can use it to check in on them, see how they’re doing, and answer any questions they may have.
Use it to build up a rapport with your patients
Live chat is also a great way to build up a rapport with your patients. By chatting with them regularly, you’ll get to know them better and build trust.
Use it to answer any questions your patients have
If your patients have any questions about their health, then live chat is the perfect place to answer them. You can use it to give advice, offer support, and help them make informed decisions about their health.
Taking It to the Next Level
You don’t have a lot of time to waste on things that don’t directly impact patient care. That’s why live chat is such a valuable tool for GPs.
Live chat allows you to have a conversation with a patient in real-time, without having to schedule an appointment or take time out of your day. This can be a great way to quickly answer questions, provide reassurance, and build rapport with your patients.
Here are some tips for using live chat in your GP practice:
Use it for simple questions and concerns
Live chat is ideal for answering simple questions from patients. For example, if a patient wants to know what the symptoms of a cold are, you can quickly type out a response and save everyone time.
Use it as an alternative to appointments
Sometimes, patients just need a quick chat to feel reassured about their health. If you feel like a live chat would suffice instead of an appointment, go for it! This will free up your time for other patients who need more extensive care.
Use Chatbots to Determine Urgency
Chatbots can be used to help triage patients and determine the urgency of their condition. This can help to ensure that patients are seen in a timely manner and that resources are used efficiently.
This can be done by asking questions about the patient’s symptoms and then providing advice based on the answers. For example, if a patient says that they are having chest pain, the chatbot could ask if the pain is sharp or dull, if it is getting worse, and if the patient has any other symptoms. Based on the answers, the chatbot could then advise the patient to go to the emergency room or to call their doctor.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why GPs should use live chat on their websites. It is a convenient way for patients to get in touch and it can help to reduce the number of phone calls that GPs have to deal with. Live chat also allows GPs to offer a more personal service and build better relationships with their patients.