Until about a year ago, I was one of many who was unconvinced that medical practices would change the way they communicate with patients. However, the wheels started turning when I witnessed a friend I was having lunch with schedule his dental appointment via text messaging.
It was then that I realized it was only a matter of time before medical practices shifted to text and/or chat as one of the primary methods of communication with patients.
Not only can texting save time when it comes to provider-patient conversations that don’t require significant explanations or communication (e.g., appointment confirmations, post-operative check-ins), but more importantly, texting is patients’ natural and desired method for communicating with their healthcare providers and staff.
At the end of the day, patients want the highest quality of care and access to care—and ultimately, a partnership with their providers. And texting is a great way to improve both quality of care and access to care, in addition to nurturing a healthy doctor-patient relationship.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons for and implications of patients’ preference for texting.
Over the years, texting has become one of the most popular forms of communication—among all generations, not just the younger demographics.
What started as short, limited-character responses to friends and family more than two decades ago is now a way to also reach mass volumes of people at one time—or even schedule or cancel medical and dental appointments.
Texting has come a long way, to say the least. It offers convenience that no other communication method can.
And it’s now the majority of patients’ first instinct when wanting to connect with people—including their healthcare providers and staff—for reasons including:
We’re all in the healthcare industry for one reason: to impact patients’ lives. Everything we do is centered around benefiting patients.
So it makes sense, then, to use the communication method they prefer and find beneficial to cultivating a relationship with your office. It’s a sure way to boost patient engagement, satisfaction, and ultimately, care.
But patients aren’t the only ones who prefer—or benefit from—texting. Medical staff and providers do, too.
Four of the most notable advantages of texting to providers and staff include:
Just as you would before implementing any other new system, strategy, or process, be sure to thoroughly consider texting’s implications for your practice.
Here are some important questions I encourage all medical practices, regardless of specialty, to examine:
Does your current patient interaction system truly reach your patients? The Vital Interaction team is here to help you facilitate quality patient interactions with automated touchpoints that deliver the right information, at the right time, via two-way text messaging, email, and automated voice messages. To learn more, call (512) 487-7625 or visit our website.
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