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Create Your Virtual Waiting Room with Lighthouse 360

Replay the Lighthouse 360 Virtual Waiting Room webinar.

Lighthouse 360 is committed to providing your practice with resources to help keep your team and your patients safe.  The ADA has created the Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit, which makes recommendations on how to safely reopen your practice. Another way you can adapt your current operations to add extra precautions is by setting up a virtual waiting room using the tools in Lighthouse 360.

The goal of the virtual waiting room is to reduce in-person contact and help maintain social distancing during a patient’s visit. This will help your patients and team members feel safe coming back to the office.

To help your office achieve this goal, we recommend that you adopt the following policies:

  1. Request that patients use online tools as much as possible.
  2. Patients must be symptom-free before coming into the office.
  3. Patients should wait outside the practice until they are called via phone call or text.
  4. Few, if any, patients or other office visitors should wait in the practice waiting room.
  5. Physical interaction with patients should be limited to clinical staff only.

Sending a Cancellation Message & Turning Off Automated Messaging
In the event of an emergency closure, you can easily send cancellation messages to patients with scheduled appointments. Click here for instructions on how to send cancellation messages due to COVID-19, or other emergency situations such as Weather Conditions or Provider Absence. Lighthouse 360 clients also have the ability to turn off their automated messages directly in the dashboard. Message Control saves time by allowing you to turn messages on/off without having to call or email for support.

Click here to watch our training video on turning off automated messaging and sending a cancellation message.

Evaluate your practice needs and meet with your team to decide which of these policies to adopt. Use these instructions to learn how to use Lighthouse 360 to implement these policies in your practice.

Notifying Patients About Your New Policies

After you have defined the new policies your practice will be following, you need to let your patients know about them. Take this opportunity to reassure patients that you are doing everything you can to safeguard their health and to let them know how things will be different the next time they come in for treatment. Complete the following steps to notify patients about your new policies:

Step 1: Update your practice website with information about your new policies and reopening plan.

  • Describe how check-in will work so that patients know how things will be different and what to expect when they arrive.
  • Tell patients what they should do before they arrive at the office, including filing out their forms online. Include a link to your forms on your website.
  • List the symptoms of COVID-19 and inform patients to contact the office and reschedule if they are experiencing any of those symptoms.

Step 2: Send an email to all your patients to inform them about your reopening plan and new policies.

  • Instructions for custom eblasts can be found here.
  • Instructions for creating a list for a customer eblast can be found here.
  • Sample messaging for creating a custom eblast can be found here.

Preparing for Patient Appointments

Step 1:  Edit automated emails with a link to your online forms, and a disclaimer telling the patient to contact the office with any unusual symptoms before coming in for his/her appointment. (See example below)

  • Please contact our office, prior to your appointment if you are experiencing or have experienced any of the following symptoms in the past two weeks: 
  • Fever, Chills, Repeated shaking with chills, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, New loss of taste or smell
  • Or if you have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Easy instructions: from dashboard open Communication > Automated Messages > Appointment Reminders > click EDIT on the message you want to modify.

Step 2:  Review/Create your Virtual Waiting Room Two-Way Text message templates.

  • Virtual Waiting Room Pre-Arrival: “When you arrive at our office please wait in your car. For the safety of you and others we are limiting patients in the waiting area. Please let us know you have arrived by responding to this text and we will respond when your chair is ready.”
  • Virtual Waiting Room Post-Arrival: “Thank you for patiently waiting. We are now ready to see you. Please enter our office at your earliest convenience.”
  • Instructions for using two-way text present messages can be found here.

Step 3:  Check that your Patient FastTrack (PFT) feature is active and includes COVID-19 screener addition.

  • Quick steps: from your Lighthouse 360 dashboard open Communication > Automated Messages > PFT messaging (confirm active)
  • Contact us at [email protected] to activate PFT feature and includes the COVID-19 screener addition.

Day of Appointments

Step 1:  Send Virtual Waiting Room Pre-Arrival message with Two-Way-Text presets to patient reminding them of the procedure when arriving at the office.

Step 2: When patient texts upon arrival, respond with a Two-Way-Text confirmation with instructions to wait in his/her vehicle until the provider is ready.

Step 3: Notify the patient through Two-Way-Text that the provider is ready, and it is safe to enter to office with Virtual Waiting Room Post-Arrival message.


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