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SMS for Healthcare: How to improve patient care with text messaging

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SMS for Healthcare: How to improve patient care with text messaging

SMS messaging provides a huge opportunity for healthcare organizations to enhance patient engagement, satisfaction, and overall patient health outcomes. Texting today is the world's most preferred mode of communication by people across all age groups. If your healthcare organization uses Salesforce to manage patients, you need a native Salesforce SMS app to leverage the limitless capabilities of your CRM.

Text messaging has become an integral part of our daily lives, and SMS has become an essential component of modern communication. Texting is the easiest way to establish communication. SMS remains a popular and reliable messaging technique despite the availability of other platforms and apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. This is because SMS is compatible with almost all mobile devices and platforms.

SMS Benefits in Healthcare

Consumers of healthcare today are mobile-first. Extensive research on patients' use of mobile technology reveals that most want to use their smartphones more frequently to manage their health and correspond with healthcare professionals.

When it comes to communication, SMS has shown to be very successful. SMS messages have a stunningly impressive read rate of 98% which makes it an ideal communication platform.

Your patient outreach and activation initiatives will reach a wider audience and be more successful in motivating patients to respond to your communications if you use SMS messaging. You will be able to reach more of your patients by text than any other digital channel, and you can better encourage immediate action because most healthcare organizations have mobile phone numbers on file for patients. The result is greater capacity utilization across service lines.

HIPAA compliance

There are requirements that must be fulfilled in order for text messages containing protected health information to be HIPAA compliant. This covers technological safety precautions like:

  • Encrypting messages in transit to prevent interception on public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Monitoring and logging all messages to enable message-tracking to the sender.
  • Automating message-sending technology's log-off processes to prevent unwanted access and
  • Having the option to retrieve messages in case they are inadvertently sent to the incorrect recipient.

Maintaining HIPAA compliance is difficult and may not apply to businesses of various sizes and service offerings in the same way. Prior to sending any communications, make sure you always get advice from a messaging compliance specialist.

SMS Messaging in Healthcare

The ability to diagnose and treat patients more successfully is the most evident and direct advantage of utilizing SMS technology in the healthcare sector. But there are advantages all around, including for your marketing, customer service, internal communications, and administrative departments.

Appointment reminders

The simplest and most effective approach to communicating with your patients is through SMS messages. Healthcare organizations can reduce costs and free up administrative time by automating appointment booking and using text alerts to remind patients of their upcoming appointments. Are you familiar with the vexing issue of patients forgetting their appointments? You can ensure your patients know the time, date, and place of their consultation by sending them text reminders about their upcoming appointments.

Provide updates on diagnostic tests with SMS alerts

Certain test results are sensitive, and medical professionals would rather speak with patients face-to-face about them. However, a lot of it is much simpler, and sending patients their results via SMS notifications could save money on communications and administrative expenses.

Prescription reminders

When it comes to prescription reminders, there are several ways that SMS messaging can help both patients and healthcare workers. Set up your messages with specific information for each patient, then set them up to automatically notify patients when their prescription is about to run out or when they need to pick up their prescribed medication.

Create new calls-to-action

A lot of patients will require phone follow-ups to gauge their current state of health, sometimes following the prescription of a new drug regimen. You can ask your patients to reply with a simple "YES" via 2-way SMS messaging, informing you that they need to make another appointment. Your patient can reassure you that everything is well and that they are recovering with a simple "No Thank you" response.

Patient feedback on healthcare services

Getting patient feedback regarding the quality of care they received is a very effective way to improve the quality of your service delivery. Once again, 2-way SMS makes it simple and quick to gather this data. You can ask patients to provide you with their feedback by sending them a brief survey or by giving them a shortcode that they can remember easily.

Improve internal communication

Because the healthcare sector operates around the clock, there is frequently a dip in communication within the business. SMS notifications can maintain the coherence of internal communication. Notify the medical staff of changes in the schedule, staff meetings, birthdays of employees, emergencies, and much more.

Test result notifications

When test or lab results are available, send SMS notifications to patients so they can receive important information on time. Giving patients the information they require as soon as it is available by providing them with direct alerts when results are in is another excellent technique to reduce patient anxiety.

Deliver pre-op and post-op instructions

Provide patients with useful advice or instructions to assist them in preparing for impending procedures or surgeries. Provide postoperative SMS messages that include details about their plans for recuperation.

Community health alerts

During outbreaks, SMS technology can be used to share critical notifications and instructions, for eg. COVID-19 updates. You may quickly raise general public awareness and inform the community by sending out mass communications.

Health education

Additionally, SMS for healthcare offers simple ways to provide resources and educate patients. Give personalized health advice and medical information about preventive care. Based on the patient's age, gender, and medical history, text messages with useful medical information can be personalized for them.

Vaccination campaigns

SMS messaging can be used to make appointments, notify qualified people, and deliver vaccine information during vaccination drives or camps.

Follow-up care

Conversational SMS messaging improves the quality of patient care. Using two-way SMS, doctors may communicate with patients directly and inquire about their progress.

Appointment scheduling and rescheduling

SMS healthcare solutions offer a convenient way to make and modify appointments. Time and money are saved when patients are encouraged to text in their appointment requests or postpone them.

5 practices to Optimize Patient Care with SMS for Healthcare

Establish trust for effective communication

Effective SMS communication for healthcare is based on trust. Establishing a personal connection and outlining the message's objective helps you start a meaningful conversation with patients.

To do this, start by introducing yourself and addressing the recipients by name. Next, make sure to clearly state the message's goal. This method not only demonstrates that the communication is meant for the appropriate recipient, but it also starts to build a meaningful relationship with the patient by showing that you are concerned about their health and well-being. This will increase the possibility that the patient will take action to improve their health.

Encourage patients to take action

Healthcare messages should encourage patients to act immediately. Give them explicit directions and follow-through support so they can complete desired tasks, such as making appointments or gaining access to resources.

Clickable links can be used with SMS messages which makes it simple to point members toward relevant resources or services. Members can see where they're heading before clicking on a link. These links also allow you to track member-level activity for insightful data that can be accessed in real time.

Personalize your content

In addition to fostering trust, personalizing your messaging enables you to craft messages according to the unique needs of each patient. You can improve engagement and promote positive health outcomes by tailoring messaging content to reflect socioeconomic determinants of health and demographic data.

Adding multimedia components to SMS, live videos, and images, increases patient engagement even further. Visual and narrative communication allows patients to connect with their healthcare provider and comprehend healthcare information more deeply.

Interact in the language of your patients

It might be difficult for health plans to serve a varied clientele who speak different languages. There's no doubt, though, that communicating with your patients in their native tongue is essential to efficient communication. One of the most effective ways to foster positive participation is to speak with patients in the language of their preference.

Check for compliances

Keeping track of opt-ins and opt-outs is required by law making it more than just a best practice.

Make sure rules are followed by swiftly complying with opt-out requests. We've all experienced being overloaded with text messages; occasionally, individuals may respond with "stop" merely because they've had one too many texts that day or because they are unsure of the sender's identity. Make sure you constantly give members the option to re-opt into the communication channel in case they change their minds in order to get around that specific challenge.

Improve patient communications with GirikSMS-powered Healthcare SMS

Using a healthcare SMS messaging platform can help your organization communicate with patients more efficiently, whether you're searching for a solution for appointment reminders or ways to improve patient care. Reaching a large audience quickly and easily is one of the many benefits of a robust SMS strategy. SMS for Healthcare is a great tool for healthcare businesses, to manage patient care, schedule procedures, share test results, send out emergency alerts, and much more.

Using GirikSMS can assist your company in enabling secure communication by integrating a number of features and protocols made to protect patient information and optimize workflow.

GirikSMS for Healthcare's salient features comprise:

  • Secure Messaging
  • Two-way messaging (conversational messaging)
  • Message Scheduling
  • HIPAA compliance
  • Message templates
  • Automated SMS alerts (appointments, reminders, alerts and more)
  • Message logs and auditing
  • Integration with other healthcare systems

GirikSMS's SMS marketing tools provide extensive analytics and customized messages to help you boost engagement. In addition to following HIPAA regulations, our platform offers 24-hour assistance and easy consent management.

The use of SMS messaging is not the end of automated communication. Discover all the ways your healthcare business may enhance the patient experience by using the best SMS app for Salesforce. With customizable settings, you can adjust your messaging strategy to engage with patients more effectively and enhance communication over time.