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Patient communication and education
Example communications to educate and raise awareness in patients
Example communications to educate and raise awareness in patients

Suggested phone, email and text messages, plus scripts for receptionists and care navigators

Faye avatar
Written by Faye
Updated over a week ago

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Why educate your patients about eConsult?

Over the past years, we have mobilised thousands of practices with eConsult across every type of demographic and list size. From our experience, we know that speaking to and promoting eConsult to patients at every opportunity is the most effective way to market eConsult.

We would suggest that you first make sure all staff have completed an eConsult so they understand the process. They can complete one on your practice website or use our demo site. You can’t promote something if you've never used it.

For different staff, the opportunities to promote eConsult will be different:

  • A clinician might want to suggest a patient uses eConsult for their follow-ups, or next time they have symptoms.

  • A receptionist or care navigator may suggest it to a patient over the phone, or to those waiting in a queue to be seen.


Scripts for receptionists and care navigators

Key messages to convey to patients:

  • eConsult is a more convenient way to get help from your surgery: for your condition, symptoms or for administrative requests

  • Using eConsult allows them to explain why they want help in their own time - they don’t have to try to explain everything within the first few minutes of a call or appointment

  • eConsults are filled in online and can be done at any time, day or night, and even on the weekend

  • The practice can then decide how best to help you - they may not even need to come into the surgery

  • After an eConsult, the practice will get back in touch and let you know what the next steps are


Scripts for receptionists and care navigators using a Total Triage Model

A total triage model refers to when a practice introduces eConsult as the main route for accessing help or an appointment. Speaking to and promoting eConsult to patients at every opportunity is the most effective way to introduce a total triage model.

Benefits of Total Triage:

  • Easiest model for patients/practice

  • Patients get the quick response they expect when using digital

  • Improved access for patients and zero pressure on the phones

  • Patients are seen based on clinical need

  • Better resources of practice staff and time

  • Reduced appointment wait time

  • DNA’s reduced to Zero

You can find out more about designing the best workflow model for your practice and how to prepare for change when moving to a different workflow here.


Text Messages to send patients

Text message campaigns can be an incredibly effective way of promoting eConsult on a specific topic to a specific demographic. You can use your own lists to focus on high-use or groups you want to target.

For example, you may want to suggest to all patients who might want to book a contraception review that they use eConsult instead.

When sending text messages to patients, please follow your standard processes in regards to patient permission, GDPR and PECR.

Depending on the type of workflow you have we have put together different example text messages you could use. You can download these below:

We also have examples of messages to send out to patients in anticipation of your go live:

DATE

TEXT MESSAGE EXAMPLE

TARGET AUDIENCE

Friday prior to going live

We have good news about the future of our practice - please see the information on our website about these changes ADD LINK FOR ANNOUNCEMENT PAGE

Kind regards,

PRACTICE NAME

ECONSULT URL LINK

Specific cohort of patients, for example: 30 - 40 year olds

Monday prior to going live

We have good news about the future of our practice - please see the information on our website about these changes - ADD LINK FOR ANNOUNCEMENT PAGE

Kind regards,

PRACTICE NAME

ECONSULT URL LINK

Another specific cohort of patients for example: 40 - 60 year olds

On the day you go live

We are now officially live with eConsult - please see information about these new changes on our website - ADD LINK FOR ANNOUNCEMENT PAGE

Kind regards,

PRACTICE NAME

ECONSULT URL LINK

Send to either ALL patients OR tailored to the other cohort of patients

One week post going live

If you have not tried our new online consultation platform, please do. It is available now and FREE of charge. Please see more information about the platform on our website - ADD LINK FOR ANNOUNCEMENT PAGE

Kind regards,

PRACTICE NAME

ECONSULT URL LINK

Send to all patients OR the specific cohort of patients that have not received any previous comms from the practice


Telephone and answerphone messages

For the majority of practices, the number one way patients first contact the surgery will be over the phone. With most patients phoning the practice for an appointment it will inevitably lead to phone queues.

Rather than the standard holding music, why not promote eConsults? It is available immediately so patients won’t have to wait in the queue. We would suggest having your lead GP read the message as they will be the most recognisable person from the practice for patients.

Thank you for calling the practice. If you are ringing to book an appointment or speak to a GP, you may wish to try our online consultation service eConsult. You can access eConsult on our practice website. You tell us what the practice can help you with, fill out an online form, and we’ll get back to you by the end of the next working day with the next steps.”


Example practice newsletters

Practices send out regular newsletters, so this is an opportunity to consistently remind patients about services that you provide. If you can also include some facts and figures about how eConsult is being used in the practice and the benefit it is having, that will make it more relevant for patients.

If you want some examples of newsletters that other practices have sent out, have a look at the below examples – some are from the same practice, showing how they keep coming back to eConsult with different angles.


Relevant eConsult blogs

Blogs to support you with patient education:

Blogs aimed at patients - please feel free to share these with your practice population:


If you have any questions or you feel that this article could be improved, please feel free to give us some feedback by emailing us, pressing the emojis below or using the chat button on the bottom right-hand side of this page to speak to one of the eConsult team.

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