When healthcare providers want to remind patients about upcoming appointments, they often rely on text messages to communicate. Texting is generally a good way to connect with patients because it is convenient for providers, and text messages are well-received by patients. But texting shouldn’t be reserved for just appointment reminders. There are numerous opportunities for providers to use text messaging to communicate with patients.
The following examples show how healthcare practices might use text messages to engage patients between visits:
“Dr. Montgomery would like you to complete a 3-question survey check-in. Please click here to take the survey.”
A text like this could be sent to patients with chronic health conditions. Using texts to invite patients to complete an online remote monitoring survey helps providers capture data about how a patient’s health is progressing. Based on the information collected, healthcare teams may then follow up with additional requests. In this case, texting is used to support chronic disease management.
“Please join us for a community wellness event this Saturday from 12-4 pm. Click here to sign up in advance for a flu shot.”
This example shows how providers can use text messages to encourage preventive care. A text message like this one could easily be sent to a practice’s entire patient population to drive participation.
“You are due for a routine health screening. Call us at 800-573-1549 or log in here to schedule your appointment.”
This text also supports preventive care, but it differs from the previous example because it would likely be sent to a more targeted audience. This type of text might be assigned to patients who are due for a mammogram, colorectal cancer screening or other preventive services.
“Please bring a copy of your current insurance card to your appointment so we can update our records.”
Text messages like this one can be sent to alert patients about check-in procedures, copayment requirements or other information to ensure appointments run smoothly. By using text messages to communicate with patients prior to their scheduled appointments, healthcare teams can take steps to create positive healthcare experiences even before patients arrive for their appointments.
These four examples demonstrate some of the ways healthcare teams can use texting beyond standard appointment reminders. To learn more about opportunities providers have to communicate and engage patients through texting, download Provider-Patient Texting is Poised for Growth.