A study found that 94% of doctors use smartphones. Doctors and other medical staff use their phones for texting, the most practical form of digital communication for health today, in addition to making phone calls and using apps.
Not just among the younger demographics but across all generations, texting has grown to be one of the most popular methods of communication. 97% of Americans in the country own a phone, and 85% of them use a smartphone.
Because text messaging is a quick, effective, and dependable method of communicating with customers, healthcare providers prefer it. Making the decision to text your patients enables you to quickly and effectively communicate crucial information to improve patient satisfaction.
The ease of use and popularity of 2-way texting in the healthcare sector offer several advantages to achieve notable operational improvements.
Here are the top five ways that text messaging can benefit your business right away:
1. Text messages are preferred by patients to calls.
According to the FICO Global Survey, four out of five people prefer text messaging when speaking with healthcare professionals.
Two-way texting allows for the sending and receiving of messages to another mobile device from any location, in contrast to other communication channels that call for patients to log in to their computers. It allows patients the freedom to conduct a conversation with their medical professionals while engaging in other activities.
Text messaging enables patients to quickly schedule an appointment while, for example, waiting to pick up their children from school or enjoying lunch. Texting is a fantastic way to update your patients on any additional medical procedures or other transactions that take place outside of the clinical setting.
Simply put, patients choose to text their doctors rather than pick up the phone, leave a voicemail, or listen to anything because it saves them time. Giving patients access to the communication channels they prefer in the medical setting enhances care quality and accessibility while fostering a dynamic doctor-patient relationship.
2. Improved communication channels for patient support and information
Checking and sending texts are part of a person’s daily routine. The majority of Americans are familiar with and at ease using the text messaging platform.
Healthcare providers take advantage of this statistic to effectively communicate with healthcare consumers because, according to Forbes, 95% of text messages are read within three minutes of being sent.
Before or after their appointments, patients can get more pertinent information about their conditions or treatments by utilizing 2-way texting in your practice. You can respond to your patients’ questions right away by texting them.
It’s significant to remember that more than 97% of smartphones today have internet access. To inform their patients about useful resources regarding their healthcare status or condition, doctors text their patients links to messages that contain important information.
Text messages may include links to articles, videos, or websites that are available online. When the recipient clicks the link, they are immediately forwarded to the external source.
Patients are more likely to read and interact with a document sent to them via text message or email than they are to read it in print, thanks to the rise of digital transformation.
Text messaging outside of a hospital or clinic appointment
demonstrates your dedication to keeping in touch with and supporting your patients in their medical proceedings, which will subsequently strengthen patient-provider communications and health management.
3. Increased adherence and compliance
The majority of people never let their cellphones out of their sight for very long because of how important they are to daily tasks. The typical adult in the US checks their phone 47 times per day. In addition, 82% of people claim to read every text message they receive, and the typical response time to a text is 90 seconds.
Based on the aforementioned statistics, healthcare providers use texting to easily track patients to make sure they are taking their medications as prescribed or following other healthcare protocols. For instance, prescription reminders nudge patients to pick up and take their medicine as prescribed.
To track their patients’ medical progress, healthcare providers remind their clients to take their prescribed medications or treatments as directed. Think about texting the following messages:
Have you taken your morning medication?
- I need you to walk for 15 minutes today.
- Have you planned to visit us for a follow-up examination?
- Tell patients to reply to your text reminders for appointments so you know they received them. Medical staff can contact the patient again if they don’t respond the first time.
4. Decrease no-shows
Beyond doctor-patient communication, texting enables patients to connect with their doctor’s office for quicker transactions like appointment scheduling.
Healthcare professionals can inform their patients about upcoming appointments using two-way texting. The number of no-shows can be significantly decreased because patients can decide in advance whether they will attend their scheduled appointment, reschedule, or cancel.
You give your patients the option to reschedule by reminding them of their appointments. As a result, you might be able to find patients to fill the open spots.
5. Give pertinent updates
Texting is a crucial tool for medical practices that require yearly visits to remember patients and remind them of the additional services that are available for their healthcare.
Additionally, healthcare providers use text messaging to send courteous reminders regarding current and past-due payments for bills.
Additionally, medical practices use texting to send promotions, health tips, and reminders for preventative care as well as surveys about patient satisfaction and other topics.
While allowing healthcare text messaging has some obvious benefits, there are also some risks. Due to how quick and simple it is, sending confidential medical information back and forth over an unsecured communication channel in 2-way texting is also the simplest way for healthcare professionals like you to break privacy laws.
Make sure to incorporate HIPAA-compliant text messaging platforms into your practice. Only those who have been given permission are able to send and receive messages on these closed-protected platforms with complete end-to-end encryption.
Additionally, be cautious about the information you share to engage in the safest texting practices possible. Text messages shouldn’t often contain PHI (protected health information). In accordance with HIPAA texting regulations, text messages without any mention of PHI are acceptable.