SMS in healthcare

Topic: Communication, Healthcare, Uses of SMS

doctorWhy should healthcare providers develop an SMS communication strategy?Improving our healthcare industry should be everyone’s priority. Hospitals, General Practitioners and Aged Care providers all need to focus specifically on ways to improve efficiency and cut costs. Improving communication is the most straightforward and least costly way of doing this, and SMS can provide the simplest and most effective solution to communication barriers. Emails have a low open rate of 22%, compared to the 98% open rate of SMS messages. With critical communication relating to the health and wellbeing of patients, it’s too risky to send crucial information to colleagues and patients via email because it may not be opened. Or at the very least, it may take a while for them to view it. Phone calls are a more traditional means of communicating in the healthcare sector, but people may not always be able to take a phone call, if they are in a meeting for example. However, they can always discretely read a text message. Implementing an SMS solution can solve a diverse number of problems facing healthcare providers. It can also open up new ways to do the everyday tasks more efficiently. Planning staff shifts Nothing is as detrimental to any business as insufficient personnel, but in healthcare this problem can have dire consequences. Ensure you always have enough staff members rostered on to look after your patients using a simple SMS solution. An automated SMS service can communicate to all your staff when a shift becomes available. This can save your admin staff hours of wasted time calling around. Appointment and vaccination reminders People are busy and their appointments are generally booked far in advance, so they’re really easy to forget! Nonetheless, the cost of missed appointments in wasted staff time and loss of business is still a problem for healthcare providers. Sending an SMS reminder will reduce your number of missed appointments significantly. You can also notify patients by SMS when they are due for a vaccination. This will look after their best interests as well as allowing you to provide a higher level of care. Outpatient follow ups For certain organisations, such as hospitals, it is a vital service that patients’ progress following their discharge is followed up. For example, if a patient has had surgery and been released from hospital, their recovery progress should be checked. An automated SMS checking in on patients could provide this service. The message could remind the patient to get in touch if they’re having any unexpected problems, or it could offer reminder advice on how to ensure they make the quickest recovery. Staff meeting attendanceAll healthcare providers work collaboratively. This means all staff need to be in the loop in order to provide the best level of service. Ensure your staff attend all meetings and training sessions with simple SMS reminders. Motivational messagingThe roles in healthcare organisations are diverse, but always challenging. That’s why some of our customers have found it useful to implement a motivational scheme using SMS, to let employees know that their hard work is appreciated. Surgery preparationPatients often have the responsibility to perform certain routines prior to surgical procedures. An example; fasting for 24 hours prior. SMS can be scheduled to remind patients of these critical routines, at the right time, which will aid successful surgery and recovery.Want to know more?This is just a brief overview of some of the great uses for SMS in communication within the healthcare sector. We’ve worked with large private hospitals, local general practitioners, and industry giants like Bupa Care Services. So we can guide you towards the perfect SMS communication strategy for your organisation. Give us a call on 1300 764 946 or take a free trial today!

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Prachi Bametha

Marketing Coordinator, Esendex Australia