Text messaging (SMS) should become a staple of every modern medical practice. Patients want to text their healthcare providers, as it’s more convenient than calling or sending an email. With texting, patients can schedule and reschedule appointments, or reach out when they have a question about their treatment plan.
However, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance is a crucial factor when a medical practice implements texting. Text messages aren’t secure by default, which means you can’t use them to share sensitive patient data.
HIPAA dictates how healthcare providers can share patients protected health information (PHI). Healthcare providers must take precautions to make sure that only the intended recipient can access sensitive medical data.
When a healthcare provider shares PHI using a non-secure texting method, they may be fined or criminally charged.
But that doesn’t mean you can't get a secure texting platform that allows PHI transmission and appointment scheduling to improve the workflow of your practice.
How does texting simplify appointment scheduling in a medical practice?
Your staff spends a significant amount of time setting up appointments with patients. When a patient calls the front desk to schedule an appointment, they have to find a date that suits them. The process doesn’t take longer than five minutes, but when repeated for multiple patients a day, the time adds up to more than is ideal.
And, what if the front desk staff is busy when the patient calls? They are put on hold, which can add a substantial amount of time to the appointment scheduling process. That’s something you can avoid with appointment scheduling and rescheduling via texting.
With secure text messaging, patients can schedule appointments without having to call the office. Instead, they receive a text message that includes a link that leads to the online appointment scheduling calendar, allowing them to choose an open appointment slot that works with their schedule. After a patient chooses a date and time, the data uploads to your electronic health record (EHR) automatically.
The entire appointment scheduling and rescheduling process is simplified with secure texting, creating more time for your staff to address other tasks and creating an increase in patient satisfaction because you offer easy, convenient services.
The perks of having a secure patient texting solution in your medical practice do not stop with simplifying appointment scheduling.
How does texting improve medical office workflow?
An integrated secure texting solution provides plenty of advantages to healthcare providers that improve office workflow. In addition to appointment scheduling and rescheduling, some of the most notable benefits of texting in a medical practice include:
- Reduced workload by going paperless
- Increased revenue by avoiding patient no-shows
- Improved healthcare team coordination
Reduced Workload by Going Paperless
In addition to scheduling and rescheduling appointments, medical office staff spends most of their workday dealing with administrative tasks such as:
- Transcribing information from patient intake forms into the EHR
- Sending important medical data to patients
Secure texting can facilitate these tasks and cut down on the overall workload dramatically.
With an innovative telemedicine platform such as Curogram, you can text patients a link to online intake forms. They can fill out the electronic forms on their phone or desktop computer and send them back to you. Then, the data uploads to your EHR. There’s no need for paper forms and the possibility of data entry errors. With the help of Curogram’s texting feature, staff can spend less time dealing with manually inputting intake forms and more time admitting and providing care for patients. Our platform also has the feature to answer queries and send secure information via automated messages to your patients. Simply schedule customized medical texts and send them to your patients when needed.
Increased Revenue by Reducing Patient No-Shows
Telemedicine features such as texting make it easier for physicians to provide care by allowing them to send patient reminders via SMS instead of spending significant time trying to reach their patients through phone calls. You can use this feature to reach and bring in more patients, ultimately reducing patient no-shows. You can text a link of your patient’s appointment where they can set it up wherever they are or even at the comfort of their home.
Plus, the amount of time saved on calling to remind patients of appointments creates time your staff can use to see more patients, further increasing practice revenue.
Improved Team Coordination
Healthcare is a joint effort. Medical staff must cooperate in admitting, diagnosing, and providing treatment to patients. Integrated texting solutions can improve communication within your practice while providing a level of security that regular SMS messaging can’t.
Texting is a convenient communication method that can help your team coordinate with ease. After integrating a secure text messaging solution, staff members can communicate patient data easily and without concern over violating HIPAA regulations. It’s fast, paperless, and available whether your staff is in the office or off-site but requires patient information or must provide it, for example, if a patient needs a question answered about their treatment.
Improve practice workflow with Curogram’s secure and simple 2-way appointment texting.
Curogram is an all-in-one HIPAA-compliant appointment scheduling 2-way text messaging solution that offers features like automated appointment reminders, online patient intake forms, and online appointment booking. The software has the simplest and most straightforward integration process while providing healthcare providers with the latest telemedicine solutions. With Curogram, you can set up a virtual clinic and start securely texting patients within two days.
Curogram offers healthcare providers an easy way to implement secure texting in their practice and improve workflow. The platform automates most of the work that goes into sending patients texts while keeping the messages HIPAA compliant.
With Curogram, you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues. The software uses the most state-of-the-art integration technology to connect with over 700 EHRs. Curogram can integrate with app-based, cloud-based, server-based, and web-browser-based EHRs without any issues.
Most telemedicine solutions do not offer a secure texting feature that follows HIPAA rules and regulations. When using Curogram, you don’t have to worry about breaking HIPAA rules. The platform doesn’t send PHI via text directly. When medical staff wants to share data with patients or other staff members, they can send them a link that leads to a secure document. That way, they can disclose information using texts while keeping the messages HIPAA compliant.
Using a HIPAA-compliant texting solution that offers appointment scheduling and more can only improve your practice’s workflow while greatly appealing to current and new patients because it satisfies their demands.