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March 20, 2023
Mar 20, 2023

WhatsApp for Healthcare: A Practical Guide (+Templates)

Pim de Vos
Written by
Pim

Do you want to use WhatsApp Business for healthcare? More and more healthcare providers nowadays enable patients to check medical reports or make appointments via WhatsApp.

WhatsApp for healthcare is still relatively new, but there are many ways to provide patients with the information they need. All on the platform we spend so much time every single day.

This guide will walk you through several use cases for WhatsApp Business for healthcare. On top of that, we give you templates you can simply copy and paste. Let’s dive in! 

Advantages of using WhatsApp Business for healthcare

The biggest advantages of WhatsApp Business for hospitals and healthcare? We’ll give you 3. Communicating via WhatsApp is: 

  • Comfortable. Every day we communicate on WhatsApp with friends and family. That makes it a communication channel we feel comfortable with. Messages are privately sent to patients, so they can answer them individually. Using WhatsApp Business for healthcare can connect organizations and patients in a low-key way. 
  • Safe. Every message you send or receive on WhatsApp is encrypted. All medical information and personal data are safely shared. 
  • Fast. When you are a patient, you don’t want to wait. You want fast and personal service. WhatsApp allows you to automate communication, so patients always get an answer right away. 

Now let’s see how WhatsApp Business for healthcare works. 

8 use cases of WhatsApp for healthcare

WhatsApp for hospitals and healthcare works best if you use a chatbot or flowbot. This way, you save time and money. A chatbot quickly helps patients with questions. By automating conversations with WhatsApp, you help patients at any time during the day and still give them a personalized experience. It’s important to learn a chatbot how to communicate and how to answer. If there is a more complex question, your staff can answer it. Together with your team, you can work on WhatsApp Business cases at the same time. 

We’ll give you some examples!

1. Scheduling appointments

Whatever type of healthcare provider you are, there is a big chance that patients usually call or email to make an appointment.. It’s even common that they can only call during a specific time or flood your inbox since they have your email via a doctor email list database The result? Your team has a lot of pressure to handle the calls as quickly as possible, and patients wait very long. At the same time, your team can’t help other patients in the facility face-to-face. There has to be a quicker way, right?

With WhatsApp, you can efficiently schedule appointments. A WhatsApp chatbot can be the host of every conversation and schedule appointments via a short flow. This saves your team a lot of time and makes the process of making appointments easy for the patients. On top of that, there will be no miscommunication. The patient has the information written down. Here you can find a step-by-step guide on how to set up a WhatsApp chatbot in Trengo.

Sample message
Hello [name]. I’m here to help you today. How can I be of assistance?
1. Book an appointment
2. Cancel an appointment
3. Reschedule an appointment
Let me know what you want, by sending back a number. 

Note: in order to build a WhatsApp chatbot, you will need to use the WhatsApp Business API.

2. Confirm appointments

Patients often forget appointments, write them down wrongly in their calendars or show up too late. This is a loss of time and money. What if you send patients a reminder a day before their appointment?

WhatsApp messages have a 99% open rate, so you can be sure that the patient will show up, reschedule or cancel in advance. With WhatsApp Business notifications you automatically send a reminder to patients a day before the appointment. You just have to set up the message once in Trengo and let the automation do the work.

Sample message
Hello [name]. This is a reminder of your appointment tomorrow at [healthcare provider]. You’re expected at [date and time]. You can find us at [address]. See you soon! 

3. Share results

So WhatsApp Business messages have a significantly high open rate. If you want to share important information with patients, you can be sure they’ll read it on WhatsApp. It takes much more time to personally call patients, and you risk the beep of voicemail. That time can be much better used for patients who are at your healthcare facility.

Sharing results can be done safely via WhatsApp. Patients who came in earlier for a test can be informed of the results by a simple text message. That way, they can schedule a follow-up appointment if needed. Or you can give them tips. You can set up a standardized message in Trengo or send the results via a chatbot.

Sample message

Hello [name]. On [date] you did a blood test at [facility name]. Here are the results of your blood test. [results]. Do you want to book an appointment? We’re always here to help you. If you want more information about [topic]. Please go to [link]. 

4. Gather data

Depending on the treatments you offer, patients have to fill in a questionary or form. This gives you all the information you need for good treatment. You can let patients do this just before the treatment in the facility. Or you can gather the data beforehand via WhatsApp.

Collecting data with WhatsApp reduces the waiting time and gives you all the information you need. Just like appointment reminders, you can use WhatsApp Business notifications in Trengo to automatically send a questionary to patients before the treatment. 

Sample message

Hello [name]. On [date and time] you have an appointment at [facility name]. To make sure you get the best care, we want to ask you a few questions. Please fill in [the form] 24 hours in advance. If you have any questions, please let us know. See you soon! 

5. Reminders for prescriptions

Medications are often prescribed for a period of time. As soon as the medication runs low, patients sometimes need a new dose. You can inform patients with reminders for prescriptions via WhatsApp. Not only does it feel personal, but it also leaves room for the patient to ask questions. At the same time, you can inform the patients about any possible changes.

Sample message

Hello [name]. It’s been [number of days] since you picked up your last prescription. We’ve made sure that your new dose of medicine [name] is ready for you at the pharmacy. You can pick it up on working days from [opening hours]. See you soon!

6. Process claims

Are you an insurance company? Then you know how difficult it can be for patients to go from treatment to claim. You may have the process already on your website, but it’s much easier via WhatsApp. 

With WhatsApp, you let patients submit a claim, get information about what care is included, and stay informed about how much of their healthcare they have left. All within a few texts back and forth. You can simply set up this process once in Trengo and let the chatbot do the talking. 

Sample message

Hello [name]. Thank you for reaching out to [name]. How can I help you today?
1. Upload claim

2. Check coverage
3. Track claims
Let me know how I can help you, by sending back a number.

7. Send out payments

When it comes to healthcare, you can’t always let a patient pay immediately. It’s not like buying new jeans. Sometimes you have to send the invoice later. You can do this via the good old-fashioned postal mail or you do it via WhatsApp. This way, you can even include a link or QR code so they can pay immediately. That saves a lot of time and speeds up the process of payments!

Sample message

Hello [name]. On [date] you visited [name facility]. Here is your invoice for the treatment. You can pay the [amount] by clicking on [link]. The payment should be made within 30 days. If you have any questions about the payment, please let us know. 

8. Collect feedback

It’s important to know how patients experience the care you provide. It’s not only useful for marketing purposes, but it also shows where there is room for improvement. You can leave a survey on the desk after the treatment, but it’s much more effective to ask for patient reviews via WhatsApp. Patients are already used to typing on the platform daily, so there’s a much bigger chance they’ll fill in the survey than they would in person or via email.

Source: Trengo

Sample message

Hello [name]. How was your experience at [facility name]? To improve the experience of our patients, we would like to ask you a couple of questions. How likely is it that you would recommend [facility name] to a friend or family? Pick a number between 1 and 9, 9 being very likely. 

Sample message

Hello [name]. To improve the experience of our patients, we would like to ask you how your experience was at [facility name]. Can you let us know in a few words? 

<image example WhatsApp conversation>

Get started with WhatsApp for healthcare

Keep in mind that WhatsApp Business is very strict and pharmaceuticals are a delicate topic. It should never be the goal to promote or sell medicine on WhatsApp. You can use WhatsApp Business for healthcare to provide patients with personalized service and make a challenging experience a lot more comfortable. 

In order to perform any of the above use cases, simply using the regular WhatsApp Business app won’t suffice. The WhatsApp Business API was built to enable big teams to answer, automate, and analyze customer conversations. You can access the API via our customer engagement platform Trengo.

Start your free 14-day Trengo trial

Pim de Vos
Written by
Pim
Senior Content Marketer

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