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Enhancing Patient Engagement: The Role of Messaging in Promoting Medication Adherence and Appointment Attendance in Healthcare

Enhancing Patient Engagement: The Role of Messaging in Promoting Medication Adherence and Appointment Attendance in Healthcare

Enhancing Patient Engagement: The Role of Messaging in Promoting Medication Adherence and Appointment Attendance in Healthcare

In a world where juggling work and personal commitments is a constant, it's not surprising that individuals miss meetings and appointments. Even while some of these lost opportunities might not have much of an effect, missed medical appointments may have a negative effect on our own health.

It costs doctors an average of $200 every time a patient does not show up. And with a 30% average no-show rate throughout the country, it adds up to an astounding $150 billion in annual costs in the United States alone. Considering the wealth of technology and cutting-edge digital tools at our disposal, one might wonder why this problem is still so pervasive. Illness or medical condition diagnosis received too late could be completely different from an early diagnosis if a visit to a doctor visit is missed. This could prevent potential health risks for patients. Not only that, an ineffective scheduling process can create chaos and raise stress levels for an already overwhelmed healthcare staff, administrators, and doctors.

Here are some useful tips for healthcare organizations to address the large problem of missed appointments:

Give patients a streamlined experience in managing appointments

Industry data indicates that an astounding 88% of appointments are scheduled via a voice conversation over the phone. This comes as a total surprise when almost everyone has access to a smartphone and can interact digitally with service providers. Whether it is ordering food, booking a flight, scheduling car repair, or ordering a gift for someone in seconds, today’s consumers want quick and easy engagement in all areas of their lives. And healthcare can't afford to be left behind. Consumers increasingly expect healthcare organizations to provide this level of ease when it comes to scheduling and managing medical appointments.

However, almost 2 out of 3 patients (65%) say they face challenges when they try to interact with their healthcare provider. While a majority (76%) of patients say that the ability to book, reschedule, or cancel appointments should be easily available online, only a mere 2.5% of appointments today are actually scheduled by patients themselves. Healthcare organizations should provide a system that gives patients a fast and streamlined engagement experience by centralizing scheduling and giving patients access to self-managing appointment services. Furthermore, appointment reminders and notifications should be automatically sent via text and/or email to patients to enable them to mark their calendars accordingly.

Provide smart scheduling to maximize capacity utilization

On average, complex diagnostic processes take about 75 days from referral to appointment. Now that's almost an entire financial quarter. Much of this lengthy process is because of cumbersome manual processes that take up a lot of time for both patients as well as scheduling staff, sometimes even for routine tasks. Healthcare systems can adopt smart, rule-based engines using a centralized database, such as a Salesforce chatbot, to give patients access to any self-scheduling service based on the clinical and operational requirements of the healthcare provider. Such a system can ensure that all medical obligations are met, and all relevant approvals are acquired before the scheduling of an appointment. By implementing a smart and centralized system, healthcare organizations can accurately and efficiently manage appointment scheduling while optimizing capacity utilization and safeguarding revenue.

Provide unmatched convenience

Healthcare systems should focus on minimizing the effort involved for patients to engage with healthcare providers. Eliminating unnecessary steps and challenges mitigates delays in providing care. Healthcare providers can offer convenience by providing patient-friendly experiences throughout the care journey. Instead of managing heaps of paper-based orders, you can adopt a robust digital platform such as Salesforce and send SMS from Salesforce to send these orders electronically to patients. As part of the appointment scheduling process, healthcare organizations need to promptly manage insurance approvals and patients should receive timely appointment reminders to help them stay on track amid their hectic schedules. Patients expect convenience and ease of use and healthcare systems that provide both will secure their position in a fiercely competitive market.

How SMS Messaging Helps in Medication Adherence to Appointment Adherence

Medication Delays and Forgetfulness

A National Library of Medicine survey states that almost half of the patients (49%) find it difficult to take their medications on time as prescribed by their doctor. Additionally, a major element in the lack of adherence is patients' simple forgetfulness and the lack of social support. Thankfully, text messaging is here to help.

Studies on clinical trials that have adopted a text messaging solution have shown that SMS messaging reduces medication delays from 85% to 20%. The study revealed that personalized and timely text message reminders to patients can significantly boost medication adherence, thereby saving costs and translating to a marked improvement in health and illness management.

Reducing No-Shows with SMS Messages

Appointment no-shows may be detrimental to a patient's health. Additionally, they have the potential to severely disrupt workplace productivity, resulting in inefficient use of resources and extended wait times. Patients forgetting appointments is the primary cause, as they become preoccupied with the hectic lifestyles of today. A simpleSMS reminder can go a long way to help them stay on course.

SMS messaging not only reduces no-shows but can also ensure that patients arrive on time. A late arrival could cause a chain reaction that disrupts the entire day's plan. Reminding patients by SMS messaging of their upcoming appointment via seven days' notice, twenty-four hours' notice, and the day of the appointment can help assure appointment adherence and timely attendance.

SMS Messaging to Engage Patients

Healthcare organizations can leverage SMS text messaging to check in with patients between appointments. This helps them to stay engaged in their health throughout the care continuum. By setting up automated SMS messaging in your CRM such as Salesforce and using a 100% Salesforce native messaging solution such as GirikSMS, you can save time and resources for your office and keep patients on track. By creating patient segments based on your CRM data and other business rules, you can send personalized, accurate, and timely text messages directly to the patient’s mobile phone.

Asking relevant questions via text is a very effective way to keep patients engaged in their health. Questions such as "Did you complete your 45 minute brisk walk today for your heart health?" or "Did you meditate for 30 minutes today to reduce anxiety? work very well as interactive check-ins to keep your patients engaged and informed with helpful information and build a bond of trust between patients and caregivers.

SMS Messaging For Healthcare And Program Information

Patients can sometimes get overwhelmed with healthcare information. With SMS messaging, you can help them understand their healthcare plan, their prescriptions, and diagnosis by sending texts with links to helpful information.

In many cases, care providers recommend non-pharmaceutical interventions such as exercise, meditation, mental health activities, dietary guidelines, and dos and don'ts which are vital to keep patients on track. These simple SMS texts can provide links to videos or articles to inspire patients and motivate them to stay on track. SMS messaging can send any relevant information to a patient’s mobile device keeping them committed to the program.

Use Surveys to Assess Performance

While SMS messaging can help your patients stay on track in their care journey, there are always areas to improve upon. With text messaging based surveys, healthcare providers can gather valuable information to improve services. With GirikSMS, you can conduct polls, a text-to-vote, or include a web survey link. All of this can be automated with our chatbots to automatically manage the back-and-forth flow of questions and their responses based on patient selections or keyword triggers.

SMS appointment reminders significantly reduce patient no-shows. And with our two-way bot-powered communication, patients can easily reschedule their appointments. This two-way communication empowers patients and gives them more control in their healthcare journey. This improves appointment slot utilization and enhances clinic efficiency.

Why Choose GirikSMS?

Businesses are spoilt for choice when it comes to adopting an SMS messaging solution. So which one do you pick? How do you ensure that you choose one that stands out? The SMS messaging solution from GirikSMS, which is 100% Salesforce native, was created with the specific goal of satisfying the demands of both patients and healthcare practitioners.

Medication adherence is viewed by the World Health Organization as a global issue that requires urgent attention. SMS text messaging, a dated but reliable technology, is starting to show promise as a way to increase appointment and prescription adherence.

GirikSMS powered text messaging can be standardized or tailored, can be two-way, and timed to a daily, weekly, or monthly regimen to work as an effective intervention for improvement in healthcare adherence.

GirikSMS is HIPAA-compliant and is native to Salesforce. So you can rest assured all patient communication is secure and private.

As a healthcare provider, you can harness the power of conversational text messaging to make patient non-adherence a thing of the past. Want to learn more? Connect with our team of experts to learn more about how GirikSMS can help you get better patient outcomes.