Many providers choose to utilize OnCall Health's secure messaging feature to communicate with their clients. This guide will elaborate on some best practices all providers and clients should be aware of when using OnCall Health's messaging features.
1. Don't Book Tomorrow What you Can Book Today!
As a provider, it is important to always book appointments at least 24 hours in advance. This gives you and your clients leeway in terms of cancellations, rescheduling, and ensuring both parties are prepared for their messaging appointment.
2. Customize Your Announcement
Once the conversation has been created, you will have the opportunity to customize the announcement clients will see at the top of the messaging appointment. This is a great place to set the client's expectations about response time, who to contact in case of an emergency, or a short description of how messaging works in your practice.
To change the default announcement, simply click "edit", enter the new announcement, then click "save."
Note: Please ensure no matter what your custom messaging announcement is, clients should be aware that this cannot, and should not, replace an emergency contact service.
Here are a few examples:
"Please note, this messaging system is not designed for emergencies. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911."
"Messaging is a secure way for provider-client conversations to take place. Please ensure you are in front of your device at least 10 minutes before the scheduled appointment time."
"During messaging conversations, the response time will be between 5-10 minutes. Please wait for your provider to respond to your message."
3. Setting Expectations with Clients
As opposed to other messaging tools like email, or instant messaging, OnCall Health is completely encrypted, meaning it is perfect for provider-patient conversations. Setting expectations with clients prior to any messaging appointments will ensure a smooth messaging appointment.
Messages will go through immediately, but it is up to individual providers to decide the frequency at which they will respond.
It is also important for patients and providers to note that there is currently no notification system for OnCall Health messages. Therefore, providers must monitor the conversation for updates to see when a new message has come through (in the case of asynchronous message sessions).
4. Complete is Forever
Before clicking 'Complete', ensure that there is nothing further you need to send to your client. Once a messaging appointment is closed, it cannot be re-opened. No further messages can be sent by clients until a new appointment is created.
If there are any fees associated with your messaging appointment, clicking 'Complete' will charge the client's card and automatically generate an invoice which is sent simultaneously to your email.
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Check out our other Best Practices guide for using OnCall Health!