Turns out, there’s a lot—every year hundreds of thousands of dollars are lost to mixed doctor appointments, many which could have been prevented with SMS messaging reminders.
In a study conducted by NHS England, DNA (did-not-attend) rates decreased by 20% when patients received automated SMS messages that gave patients the option to change or accept alternative medical appointment dates. In fact, the survey showed that 91% of patients were open to going to last-minute appointments, and 50% of canceled appointments could be quickly rescheduled through SMS messaging.
This saves money and time for hospitals and medical practices, as it is much easier to reach patients through text than other means i.e. calling and leaving a voicemail and hoping to get a response in time.
There are many more benefits to SMS messaging in healthcare than just this one use case. While the industry has previously been slow to adopt SMS solutions due in part to misconceptions about patient security, many hospitals are now incorporating e-messaging to reduce strains on hospital infrastructure, improve communication during medical emergencies and optimize patient care.
Here are ways hospitals and physicals are using text messaging as a service provider:
- Reduce missed appointments and canceled appointments—text alerts can go a long way to prevent missed appointments and save money for better uses.
- Share vital personal health information –reminders about dosage, how to properly take medication, and other precautions help streamline treatment and save time and prevent confusion or errors.
- Prescription renewal reminders—while these dates are on pill bottles, a text alert to refill a prescription can be much more effective through SMS messaging. If a patient misses a prescription refill this can prolong an illness or cause complications
- Help with time-sensitive internal communication—doctors and nurses are constantly busy so being able to save time and send a text rather than running down the hall or trying to reach someone by phone can greatly improve internal efficiency.
- Emergency alerts—when it comes to healthcare emergencies, a minute can mean the difference between life and death. Agile text alerts can cut down on crucial seconds and improve patient care when it matters most.
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