• Yashika

How to improve the patient experience using SMS

Updated: May 21

The extensive healthcare industry has been constantly rising with the focus to manage cost while maintaining high-quality patient care and support services. This exhibits to maintain efficiency and productivity on the whole along with the motive to provide easy access to care and ease to the healthcare providers.

The healthcare industry is one of the crucial industries and any improvement in this sphere can escalate its domain. Here, the main concerns are to minimize the patients waiting time, reduce appointment cancellations, to speed up the treatment process, and many more.

But how can healthcare providers put forward a strategy to improve overall patient experience?

Consistent patient communication is a key component to improve patient care and satisfaction. The most common and convenient mode of communication with your patients is via text messages or SMS.

There is no doubt that it has a better engagement rate as compared to other means of communication as the messages are read timely. It is a viable way to easily reach out to patients, which helps save money and administrative time. The text messaging method helps both patients and healthcare providers to get the appointments schedule and reschedule. Also, hospitals and clinics can track the visit history of patients, which makes the follow- up procedure manageable.

Another important factor is to avoid any cancellations as it imposes a huge financial drain on the system. Hence, automated outreach of the SMS can optimize patient care services and offer a better experience to them. The immediacy and ease of texting make it an effective method of communication. On the wider aspect, it allows greater fluidity in the functioning of the system as well as managing data.

Best practices to improve patients experience using SMS

  • Optimize easy appointment reminders and confirmation- SMS is a convenient way to send reminders and ensure patients don’t forget about their upcoming appointments. Using a two-way messaging feature can offer flexibility to the patients to confirm or cancel their appointments. The ability to manage appointments and cancellations has a direct impact on the effortless functioning of the healthcare providers.

  • Maximize scheduling and rescheduling- Every missed appointment has a huge impact on healthcare because of the invested time and the money. Being able to minimize no-shows is a definitive way to save on operational costs or adjust other appointments. An automated appointment reminder via SMS is a more relaxed and organized way to coordinate for appointment scheduling and rescheduling.

  • Encourage follow-ups- Sending text messages can enhance the personalized experience for patients. For instance, any important instructions like reminding medication or aftercare advice are a great way as it can increase patient’s involvement in their treatment. Messaging can play a vital part in ensuring that patients continue their aftercare between visits. These notifications and preventive care reminders can build a better relationship between a patient and a healthcare provider.

  • Provide flexibility- The SMS service can provide the freedom to patients to easily communicate with their healthcare providers. To let them ask questions when in doubt and to answer prescribed medication information, verify information on insurance coverage, and automate routine procedures easier. Apart from this, patients often need assistance related to medical equipment. Such questions can be asked so that hospitals and clinics can easily provide patients with relevant information and solution. This tool has the potential to strengthen the patient’s trust with the flexibility to interact at their convenience.

  • Gather feedback- We have been discussing how to improve a patient’s experience. Therefore, capturing feedback is counted as an important factor to gather valuable insights that can be further used to refine experiences. A simple text message can help with the survey to provide immediate feedback for all the aspects that can offer a value-based healthcare experience.

  • Easy billing- Sending an automated text message is an easy way for the bill payment reminder along and the link to the secured payment site. Hospitals and clinics can integrate with the backend billing, inventory, insurance management system to generate invoices for payments.

At a Glance

Text messages are comparatively more favorable than other means of communication because it is read quickly and are convenient. Automated messages can be sent for appointment reminders, follow-ups, appointment scheduling, feedback requests, and much more to improve the overall patient experience. Here, patients can manage their accounts for any notifications or updates and respond accordingly to their comfort.