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Taking Advantage of Patient Texting...Now and in the Future

Posted on Dec 05, 2018 by Lori Boyer

    The future of texting in healthcareThe year 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of text messaging. As I've thought about the history and impact of SMS, my mind turned to from its past to its future. Is text messaging still important?  Will it be in the coming years? 

    I don't know about you, but my texting habits are still going strong. According to researchers, I'm not alone. Experts say that 97 percent of smartphone owners send text messages, making it the #1 most popular feature of smartphones. And of the billions of messages sent each year, 90 percent are read within three minutes. 

    1. The ones your practice staff has to make each day.
    2. And the calls your practice receives from patients each day.

    Phone calls to remind patients of their upcoming appointments or that they are due to be seen again can take up hours of time, and usually end in a voice message that may or may not be heard. On average, a phone call lasts about two minutes. This may not seem like a long time, but if you include the time spent leaving a message, calling back later, or answering the phone when the patient calls back, that two minutes adds up.

    Text messages, on the other hand, only take about four seconds to type and send. Now, most text conversations will require a few messages back and forth to complete the conversation. But even if you have to send three or four messages to your patient, you are still conveying all of the necessary information in under 30 seconds. And the best part about text conversations is that it is easy to complete other tasks while you are carrying on the conversation. Texting doesn’t require you or your patient to be tied to the phone. You can send the information to the patient then help a patient who walks into your office (or any other task, really) while you wait for the response.

    Outgoing phone calls aren’t the only thing your practice staff is trying to juggle, there are also incoming Reduce the time spent on the phone through textingcalls from patients looking to schedule an appointment, get directions to your practice, or ask questions about their appointment. Think about how much time your practice could save if your patients knew they could text you those questions, and your staff would send them all of the information they need in a text. A healthcare practice receives about 50 phone calls each day, so think of the time saved if the majority of those calls were redirected into text messages.

    Lori Boyer

    Lori Boyer

    Lori Boyer has spent over a decade developing content and customer strategy for a wide variety of companies. She especially loves "walking a mile" in the shoes of her target audience. At Solutionreach we focus on relationships - building and maintaining them. She does the same. Lori Boyer is a lover of crisp fall mornings, a good book, and just about anything Beauty and the Beast related.

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