Text messaging for healthcare – sometimes, it feels like there is no other industry like healthcare that is in need of text messaging, the most efficient way to manage communication between healthcare personnel and patients.
Doctors, nurses, healthcare authorities, patients and other related personnel need to be aware of the uncountable number of appointments, cancellations, rescheduling, etc. that is normal in any healthcare institute. But, the issue is, you need to pass this information to the relevant people, quickly and correctly. ‘Correctly,’ is an important term to consider here, because it is people’s health related information that you share.
This is where we need the ideal solution of a quick and correct method of communication.
Automated text messaging is not only quick, they are also more correct because manual intervention is minimal.
- 82% of people keep notifications turned on for SMS messages. (Twilio)
- the average response time for a text message is only 90 seconds. (CTIA, HubSpot)
- the average response time for a text message is 6,000% (60X) faster than email. (CTIA, HubSpot)
- 95% of texts from businesses are read within 3 minutes of being sent. (Forbes)
Most importantly, unlike a phone call that you might miss, or an email message that needs an internet connection, SMS notifications are always there in the inbox for any busy person to refer to, later. What’s more, most people have set their mobile phones to remind the user of unread SMS messages. It’s a win-win situation for every party!
Texting in Healthcare for Medical Clinics
Doctor Appointment Confirmation Message
People could book appointments at your medical clinic in various ways. However, you can direct them all to one communication platform. That is text messaging where it is easier for both you and them to send and receive urgent information.
This way, you can bring all phone calls, emails, walk-in appointments etc. to one information and communication management system. That way, all data is in one place. Then, it is much easier to confirm appointments with all necessary information included in the SMS notification.
What makes confirming appointments via text messaging much better? It is that people tend to miss phone calls because of being busy or having the phone on silent mode. When this happens, you need to keep trying to reach them. Moreover, you might miss information. But, when you automate the process, there is less chance for any errors.
In a personalized text message, you send the SMS notification specifically to that person. You do it as you use his or her name in it. Then, you include their custom information such as the booked doctor’s details, appointment date and time, place, appointment number etc. That way, they have all the necessary information in their inbox, whenever they want to have a look at it.
Easy Payment via Text Alerts
Your medical clinic could have several payment methods. Payments in person, via bank deposits, or online are a few common options. The easiest way to make payments for both parties is online; you can do it from anywhere, anytime.
You can make available this easy payment method to everyone using SMS alerts. That’s right! In the doctor appointment confirmation message itself, you can include a link to the online payment website or system. That way, like in the above image, you can send all appointment details and direct the person to make the payment right after receiving confirmation.
Automated Patient Appointment Reminders
After you send the doctor appointment confirmation message, you can also send another reminder message on the day of the appointment to confirm whether the patient is going to visit or not. That way, you make sure that they remember the appointment they have on that day. On the other hand, if they had forgotten and planned some other work, they have enough time to figure it out . You can solve so much hassle you will have to go through calling to confirm their visit or managing the queue during the appointment time, simply through a single SMS alert.
Rescheduling Appointments via Text Message Alerts
You can also give them the chance to reschedule the appointment for another time, using the same text message reminder. If you make phone calls, you will need to make changes manually, creating more work for you. However, you can eliminate this using a simple, single SMS alert. What’s more, all patient information is there on the system. So ,there is no need to check which person needs to change from what time, which doctor, etc. On the patient’s side too, this is much easier than repeating all appointment details on the phone to you.
Routine Checkup Reminders
There may be registered patients at your medical clinic who visit you weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually etc. You can use text messaging to send them automated medical check up reminders close to their due dates. This could be a helpful practice for them, too. On the other hand, this will help you attract more patients to your medical clinic. This is because of the user friendly service that they experience through your timely communication.
Customer feedback via Text Messaging
Is that all you can use text messaging for in your medical clinic? Of course not! You send them appointment confirmation text messages, text message reminders, and make them familiar with communicating with you via personalized text messaging. When you do that, they normalize this practice in their lives. You can use that plus point to get them to give their feedback about your service, via SMS alerts. It may be a simple Yes and No quiz, it could be a link to an online questionnaire form. Whatever it is, it is easier for you to get them to reply to your feedback requests. This comes through maintaining a healthy and efficient communication with them via SMS alerts.
As a medical clinic, using text messaging to communicate with your patients is one of the best decisions you can take to keep them coming back to you and make them recommend you to their friends.
If you want to send text messages to your patients simply from your desktop, you can checkout the ShoutOUT SMS Tool. If you have an app dedicated to your medical clinic where patients can book appointments, you can integrate the ShoutOUT API so that these SMS alerts will be sent automatically with relevant detail at each action. Read more on how you can send automated SMS alerts on each customer action in Woocommerce Text Notifications – Complete Guide.