By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Texting can keep patients motivated, engaged, and on the road to better health.
Text messaging has become a critical and strategic tool for healthcare providers. Innovative healthcare organizations and clinics are leveraging SMS as a communications channel to make the patient experience easier and more convenient. Further, text messaging is playing a pivotal role in keeping patients motivated and engaged with their providers about their well-being and treatment plans. Knowing where to start can be a challenge with implementing an initiative like this — especially given industry-specific regulations and compliance requirements.
A recent Flowroute survey found more than half of consumer respondents prefer receiving notifications — such as appointment reminders and prescription updates — via text rather than email. In fact, the study found 82 percent of all text messages are read within five minutes, therefore increasing the likelihood of interaction. Meanwhile, consumers open just 25 percent of the emails they receive.
While businesses are increasingly using SMS as a communication channel, healthcare is outpacing all other industries. In healthcare, SMS messaging is used particularly for appointment reminders and prescription refills.
A study conducted by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found text messaging systems can also benefit hospital systems and boost patient recovery times as well, as Health IT Outcomes reported. Introducing the use of a text message based hospital communication systems in place of traditional paging systems benefits not only staff but also the patients in the hospital. According to Flowroute study the benefits of SMS include: