Americans spent a whopping $3.56 trillion on healthcare in 2018. And yet, the healthcare industry is still heavily reliant on legacy systems, with providers often using outdated and ineffective communication methods. This presents a huge opportunity to improve productivity, efficiency and patient care.
So, how can healthcare providers leverage popular communication channels to reduce costs and improve patient experiences? The best example is SMS. We check our phones around 80 times a day, 98% of texts are opened and the average response time is under two minutes. The immediacy and convenience of texting make it an incredibly effective (not to mention inexpensive) way to communicate.
Let’s take a look at three common use cases in healthcare:
1. Appointment reminders
Missed appointments cost healthcare providers around $150 billion a year. Sending automated appointment reminders via SMS is the best way to guarantee a patient is aware of an upcoming appointment. It also gives them the opportunity to confirm or reschedule, reducing no-shows and freeing up appointments for other patients.
2. Aftercare instructions
Sending text messages following patient interactions can not only reduce costs but also improve health outcomes.
SMS can be used to remind patients of their aftercare instructions and also give them an opportunity to ask questions if they’re unsure. For more complicated issues, you can transition from SMS to a call to make sure they’re getting the help they need.
3. Capturing patient feedback
Capturing patient feedback via text survey can unlock valuable insights, which you can use to identify pain points and improve patient experiences.
The future of healthcare communications
Continued adoption of SMS will result in more personalized, relevant and real-time patient communications. As newer technologies like voice activation, AI, chatbots and sentiment analysis become more widespread, healthcare providers are likely to leverage them to further enhance communications.
To find out more about how you can leverage Programmable SMS to transform patient communications, get in touch with our sales team.
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