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Texting in healthcare: 10 use cases and benefits

Alia Paavola
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Texting in healthcare is becoming a more popular way for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to communicate with each other and patients alike. The speed, efficiency, and HIPPAA compliance make it superior to other methods. 

From billing to internal communication – there’s no limit to the uses and benefits of SMS in healthcare. So let’s dive in! 

10 ways to use texting in healthcare

Here are 10 ways to use texting in healthcare and get the most of the 160-character limit:

Internal communication

Use SMS to communicate with your staff quickly and efficiently. With the right SMS software, you can send text messages to individuals, a specific group (like OB-GYN nurses), or the entire personnel. Here are a few ways to leverage texting to improve staff communication:

  • Shift reminders
  • Fill last-minute shift openings
  • Emergency alerts
  • Meeting reminders
  • Updates

Moreover, home healthcare businesses could significantly benefit from using text messaging to provide updates to staff in the field. For example, you could send patient addresses, appointment or any other key updates to the home health aids and keep them informed.

Marketing

Texting in healthcare can also be used for marketing purposes. From sending blasts to scheduling or automating a string of texts sent to a particular audience segment – the marketing opportunities with texting are endless:

  • Promote a new service or product
  • Send discount codes
  • Exclusive deals
  • Limited-time offers
  • Event Invitations

Need inspiration? Check out these text marketing campaign ideas!

Appointment scheduling

One of the best ways to use texting in healthcare is appointment scheduling and reminders. With healthcare facilities losing $200 on average every time a patient misses an appointment, it’s incremental to reduce the no-shows. 

With an SMS software like Textline, you can automate these appointment-related messages, whether they are confirmations or reminders. One more way to use SMS for appointment scheduling is to give your patients the option to cancel or reschedule via SMS.

Patient care

Improve patient care and engagement with SMS. Use texting to follow up with patients post-appointment, share educational resources like health tips, and quickly answer common patient questions.

Patient satisfaction

Collect valuable feedback from patients via text message. Ask patients to take a quick survey or leave reviews via SMS.

While surveys help you identify areas for improvement, patient reviews are a top way to attract new patients. In fact, one study found that 75 percent of Americans read online reviews before scheduling a medical appointment.

Billing

Late or missed payments strain any organization, especially in the medical industry. But billing doesn’t have to be as much of a headache when you add business texting to the process. You can use texting to help streamline the billing and collections process. Easily send:

  • Billing invoices
  • Early-payment incentives
  • Payment reminders
  • Payment confirmations

Additionally, you could even use MMS or link sharing to collect payments via text. These gentle nudges remind patients to pay, ensuring your practice gets the revenue it earned. 

Verify information

Use SMS to verify patient information like:

  • Insurance coverage
  • Contact details
  • Pharmacy preference

This will ensure the accuracy of your patient records, help you provide better care, and save you time during the check-in process.

Check into appointments 

Use SMS to help speed up the check-in process. Let patients know they can text your office when they arrive, and you will begin the process. SMS helps practices with contactless check-in. 

Share documents ahead of an appointment

If you need your patients to fill out specific documents, ask them to do so via SMS. For example, you could send them a link to a screening questionnaire ahead of their appointment. 

Other reminders and notifications

Like we said before, there’s no limit to what you can do with SMS. Here are a few more examples of reminders and notifications you can send to patients:

  • Inform patients that their test results are in
  • Let patients know their prescription is ready for pickup
  • Send patients reminders to take their medication
  • Send scheduling reminders for routine checkups
  • Send prescription refill reminders
  • Alert patients to newly opened appointment times

Benefits of SMS in healthcare

You can already tell from all the use cases that there are many benefits of HIPAA-compliant texting in healthcare. The effectiveness and affordability of texting will give you a competitive advantage by reducing costs, increasing cash flow, and improving patient satisfaction.

Reduced operating costs

Automated text messages help healthcare organizations reduce manual labor costs associated with appointment scheduling, staff management, and general patient support. By streamlining these processes and reducing human error, healthcare organizations are able to save time and money while improving their efficiency. This leads us to the next point.

Higher efficiency

Better efficiency and productivity are key benefits of SMS in healthcare. Automating repeating and mundane processes like sending invoices, scheduling appointments via phone calls, doing check-ins and similar, frees up time for your staff to work on more important issues. Not to mention that it lowers the risk of cross-contamination.

Improved patient experience

Patients want to receive texts from their healthcare providers. In fact, a study by CVS Health found that:

  • 83 percent of patients want text appointment reminders
  • 79 percent want prescription refill reminders 
  • 78 percent want annual wellness check reminders
  • 75 percent want annual screening reminders. 

By adding texting as a communication channel, you can improve the patient experience by meeting their preferences and expectations.

Reduced no-shows

Text messaging can reduce the chance that patients forget about an appointment or cancel last minute. Studies show that sending text reminders can cut no-show rates by up to 26 percent

Use our appointment reminder text templates to help you reduce your no-show rate!

Lower patient acquisition cost

Signing up new patients for your dental or medical practice always comes at a cost. But with SMS, this cost can be minimal – between one and five cents per message. This makes texting one of the most cost-efficient channels.

Higher patient retention

Text messaging is a great tool to boost retention as it helps build loyalty, create meaningful relationships, personalize communication, and ultimately meet the patients’ preferences.

Texting allows easy two-way communication with your patients, at their best convenience. They won’t feel pressured to respond to a phone call immediately, log into their email accounts, or drive to your practice. 

Better cash flow

When it comes to collecting payments, texting provides immediate benefits in terms of speed, convenience, and security compared to traditional methods like paper invoices and checks sent in the mail.

Text messages are sent immediately and allow patients to make payments right away, which helps speed up the process dramatically compared to other payment options. 

Another benefit of text message payment collection is that it reduces administrative costs associated with manual billing processes or snail mail bills.

Finally, using text messaging for payment collection offers added security. Data sent via text message can’t be copied like a check so there’s no need to worry about fraud or data theft occurring through the process. This ensures that both the patient and the organization can feel confident that their funds will arrive safely into intended hands without any risk of theft involved along the way.

Improve your healthcare business with Textline

Are you ready to experience the benefits of texting for healthcare firsthand?

Textline is the most secure, HIPAA-compliant business texting platform in the world. Try it for free by signing up for a free 14-day trial or schedule a demo to see the product in action.

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