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Text Messaging in My Healthcare Process, Now is the Time!

With so many options for text messaging available today, what are our healthcare service providers waiting on, Now is the time!

By Michael Hyman | Helping increase HIT and Data Assets Value

September 15, 2016 – We have all become dependent on our smartphones and the many applications available to help us in all aspects of our life – communication, social interactions, shopping, entertainment and banking, etc. With 68% of Americans owning a smartphone [1], it is time to integrate this technology in my hand into my healthcare process. The most basic application, text messaging, is a great place to start to improve the overall communication between myself and my healthcare service providers.

Practice administrators, front office staff and physicians, spend tremendous manual effort and resources to ensure their patients follow through with their appointments to ensure the best outcomes and efficient scheduling that leads to increased filled appointments. Today many of the leading scheduling, practice management and EHR solutions offers text messaging and many third party solutions can be integrated for providing this functionality, so why are healthcare organization being so slow in the adoption of this mainstream technology? If you have millennial or younger kids, texting may be the only way to engage them!

From my experience, once text messaging is implemented, the practice will experience an overwhelming acceptance of this communication channel. Patients will quickly acknowledge the appointment reminders and alerts too call to practice with much less manual efforts by the staff.

One client, a single provider practice conservatively saved as much as $750 per month or $9,000 annually in labor cost that goes directly to the bottom line when they implemented text messaging not to mention the positive impact to patient engagement and satisfaction.

Knowing that 66% of Americans would use their mobile phone to manage health – related issues [2] (which I am one) and over 75% of the patients surveyed in the 2016 Connected Patient Report [3] are still relying on phone calls to set up appointments and hate to be put on hold and never return the call to confirm appointments. Now is the time to empower us with technology we use every day, not just because we are asking for it but because of the positive impact texting and improved engagement will have on the delivery care. With so many options for text messaging available today, what are our healthcare service providers waiting on, Now is the time!

[1] Technology Device Ownership: 2015

http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/29/technology-device-ownership-2015/

[2] Source: 5th Annual Makovsky/Kelton “Pulse of Online Health” Survey, 2015

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fifth-annual-pulse-of-online-health-survey-finds-66-of-americans-eager-to-leverage-digital-tools-to-manage-personal-health-300039986.html

[3] 2016 State of the Connected Patient by Salesforce Research

https://www.salesforce.com/form/industries/2016-state-connected-patient.jsp

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