When healthcare organizations are looking to implement a solution that will allow them to text their patients, the term “short code” is one that often arises.
In its simplest terms, a short code is much like a six-digit phone number. It’s used to route an incoming text from a patient to you or your text messaging vendor.
While that may be a new term for you, it’s likely that you’ve been seeing short codes for years across TV, in-store promotions and more. It’s what you see when national pizza chains encourage you to “Text PIZZA to 766766” or something similar to receive coupons and other special offers. That “766766” is the short code.
When you’re looking to work with a vendor to deliver appointment reminders, wellness messages and other important texts to patients, odds are good that you’ll share this short code with other organizations who work with that same vendor. This saves thousands of dollars for your practice and significantly speeds up implementation time of the solution, but you could reasonably ask “If we’re sharing a short code, how do we know which incoming texts belong to me and my patients?”
That’s where an organization key comes into play. It brands texts with your organization name – kind of like an alpha-numeric “logo”. Central Healthcare might ask patients to text “CENTRAL” or “CENHEALTH” to you or your vendor’s short code. Something unique to that organization. The organization key is what is used to route the message from your patient, through the short code and then on to you.
Short codes, organization keys and other terminology can be intimidating for organizations looking to begin texting their patients. But those terms are simpler than you might think.
Are there other text-related terms that have proven to be confusing for your organization?