Both providers and patients have realized the convenience and flexibility that text communications provide, and healthcare practices are beginning to embrace texting as an essential tool for increasing provider-patient engagement and improving patient experience. As mobile phone usage continues to increase, text communications are not only more Iikely to be considered acceptable by patients—texting is becoming the preferred channel for patient communications as well. So how does texting help improve patient experience?
1. Convenience encourages responses:
Text messages have a much better response rate than email or phone calls, as it’s often easier for patients to respond to a text message as their schedule permits than it is to answer or return a phone call. Patients can quickly read and respond via text message to confirm or cancel their appointment, offering a convenient experience for both the patient and the practice.
2. Proactive communications lead to better health outcomes:
Providers can use text communications to make sure patients are following treatment plans or to encourage them to participate in prevention, such as annual check-ups and seasonal wellness measures. A simple reminder text about the importance of a preventive exam can prompt patients to schedule an appointment.
3. Higher response rates improve access to care:
When patients can easily respond to a brief text message, they are more likely to let the staff know that they need to cancel or reschedule their appointment. The staff can then offer that open appointment slot to another high-priority or “wait list” patient, which improves patient experience and builds loyalty among those patients who are waiting for an appointment time.
For more information about why texting your patients makes sense, read our white paper here.