In today’s world, patients conduct most of their business from their mobile phones. In fact, 72 percent of Americans own a smartphone, and patients enjoy the flexibility of being able to communicate when they are on the go. The preferred method of communication for most Americans is through text messages. For healthcare providers, it is important to be able to connect with patients in their preferred way. A text message system that is also integrated with the existing patient management system not only makes communication easier, it is also beneficial for a practice when it comes to scheduling, sending targeted messages to specific patients, and maintaining communication records.
Fewer Schedule Gaps
A texting solution can provide a simple way to fill holes in the schedule left by unexpected appointment cancellations. When a last-minute appointment becomes available, a text can be sent to every patient on the waiting list letting them know of the opening, and those available to fill the time slot can respond to the text to claim the appointment. This solution is much more time-efficient for the practice because it eliminates the need to call patients on the waitlist one at a time. Everybody is notified with one simple text, and only those who are interested in the appointment will respond.
An integrated texting solution can help practices gain valuable information about different groups of their patients. The practice can track response rates to text messages sent, flag patients who tend to miss appointments, and identify groups of patients that need more frequent reminders.
This information can then be used to target specific groups in the patient population, such as patients who are overdue for an appointment or have outstanding balances.
All communication with patients, including text messages, should be documented with the patient’s medical records. A texting solution that works with the patient management software makes this an easy requirement to fulfill. Patient cell phone numbers are listed in the contact information, so as texts come in they are automatically linked to the patient’s medical record. This also makes it easy for any person in the practice to respond to any text message received. Office staff can refer back to the previous text messages between the patient and the practice to understand the context of the text and respond appropriately.
To learn more about the benefits of an integrated texting solution, click here.