Happy patients make for a healthy medical practice. The key to success is delivering what is most important to the people who are entrusting you with their health and well-being.
Outside of providing outstanding medical care, seamless communication can go a long ways towards better patient engagement, regardless of whether appointments are telehealth virtual consultations or in-person visits.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Several recent reports have found that automated, 2-way text messaging was a successful enabler of patient engagement, and that patients actually prefer digital communications — both automated and in real-time.
Here are some of the study’s key takeaways:
- Response rates were significantly higher for appointment reminders sent via text message (52%) than for phone call reminders (26%) and email (28%).
- Patient preference for communication through text messages transcends age. Text message reminder confirmation rates for 18-34-year-olds sat comfortably at 43%, at 56% for 55-74-year-olds had and at 30% for 75-94-year-olds.
- Patients are significantly more likely to respond to post-appointment requests for feedback through text (38%) in comparison to email (19%).
The 5 Secrets to Better Patient Engagement
At the end of the day, 2-way text messaging provides convenience, coupled with accessibility, when patients need it most.
Here are five ways it can be utilized to improve patient engagement and save time on manual administrative tasks that could be better spent on more meaningful work to enhance patient experience.
1. Answer FAQ’s
Medical staff often spend hours on the phone answering basic, common questions. 2-way text messaging cuts down on the need for these types of phone calls since patients can ask questions through text messages, and vice-versa. You can even create preset responses to the most commonly asked questions, which can be sent in real-time so that patients aren’t stuck waiting for answers. Even if this process is only semi-automated, you still come across as more attentive to their needs.
2. Request Insurance Information and Share Digital Forms
Advances in technology have completely transformed the way healthcare practices operate and eliminated the need for many paper-driven processes. With 2-way text messaging, you can request copies of driver’s licenses and insurance cards, as well as share patient intake forms.
3. Send Appointment Reminders
Like you, your patients are busy, which sometimes translates into them forgetting about prescheduled appointments. By sending text message reminders, you’re helping them prioritize their health. In fact, sending appointment reminders via text has been proven to increase patient confirmations by as much as 156%.
4. Remind Patients to Schedule Follow-Ups
Not all patients remember to schedule preventive care visits and follow-up appointments. Using 2-way text messaging streamlines and simplifies the process of sending reminders about both. Most patients appreciate the attentiveness, and it helps to solidify the relationship you have with each of them, which in turn, will improve your retention numbers.
5. Send Pre-Visit Instructions
By embracing 2-way text messaging, your staff can send pre-visit instructions – along with appointment reminders – to help ensure that patients show up prepared. This might include information about how they will participate in a telehealth visit or waiting room information for in-person visits. You can also pre-screen for illnesses that may require rescheduling, as well as remind them to have blood work drawn, bring prescriptions, or fast.
The Benefits Don’t Stop There
Outside of secure 2-way text messaging providing clearer lines of communication, it also places patients first by helping to improve outcomes and overall satisfaction due to a quicker exchange of data.
But that’s not all. It also:
The Technology You Need to Succeed
Curogram was designed to bridge the gap between healthcare providers and their patients. Our proprietary and patented software solution is HIPAA-compliant and offers encrypted 2-way text messaging so that you can safely communicate with your patients. What’s more, Curogram integrates with any EMR/EHR so that it can be seamlessly incorporated into your existing operational framework.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can take communication farther than your existing patient portal, schedule a demo today.