Patient Engagement
Community Spotlight

An Unexpected Use Case for CareMessage

May 7, 2019

We recently learned of an unusual way that one of our newer customers leveraged the CareMessage Platform. While staff messaging is not an intended use for our product, one California FQHC found that it was just the right solution in a crisis situation.

On the morning of July 26th, the CARR Wildfire, which began near French Gulch in Shasta County, California, quickly and unexpectedly jumped the Sacramento River and made its way into the city of Redding, California, causing the necessary, rapid evacuation of nearly 38,000 people.

For the Shasta Community Health Center, a non-profit primary health care system, based in Redding, this created a communications crisis. With several hundred employees, spread across five locations, Shasta needed a way to quickly and effectively communicate with their staff during the wildfire emergency.

At the time of the fire, Shasta was in the early stages of implementation of the CareMessage platform for patient communications. The team had just started developing their EHR integration with our product and determining the preliminary use cases.

Chief Operating Officer, Brandon Thornock, was leaving town for pre-planned paid time off on the morning the fire hit. On his way out the door, he connected with Laura Dougan, Shasta’s Director of Clinical Operations, and gave her a two-minute demonstration of the platform. Despite not being fully implemented and with little time to spare, Dougan was able to load staff contact information into CareMessage and create a messaging workflow for messaging employees.

“It was simple enough to understand and easy enough to use,” says Dougan, “that I could immediately begin working with it. I was able to access it from home and, over the course of the four-day emergency period, I could quickly and easily send out communications to our staff.”

Shasta used CareMessage to send messages to staff telling them where to report to work, and which locations were closing and which were opening. In addition, Dougan used CareMessage to give staff information on how they should report their own status and if they could make it to work. “Our clinic voicemails couldn’t handle the call volume,” said Dougan. “The mailboxes maxed out at 30 voicemails, so when our staff were trying to report in, they couldn’t leave a message.” CareMessage allowed Dougan to communicate directly with employees, telling them where and how to report in if they had a problem getting to work.

The staff loved getting the information from their employer via text message. For a community that was on the move, it was the most effective communication tool available.

Have you considered or implemented any other unique use cases for the CareMessage platform? If so, please share them with us at info@caremessage.org.

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