Text messaging is a growing means of communication in the healthcare industry. A lot of healthcare companies have ditched old systems of communications like fax and pagers and are embracing new ways of communicating with customers like emails, chatbots, and text messages. Text messaging has continued to grow exponentially as companies continue to use them in the booking and cancelling of appointments, reminding patients about regular check-ups, prescriptions, and improving the overall patient experience.
The text message strategy and service have been very successful so far as over 20% of patients say they prefer receiving information from the HCPs through text messaging. The number of patients who text messaging to communicate with HCPs has grown over the years from 5% to 17% and it keeps rising.
Why Patients Just Love to Text
One of the reasons for the spike in text messaging usage in the healthcare industry is the usage by patients. Here’s a look at some reasons patients love text massaging.
- High Usage of Mobile Phones
This is the first reason why text messaging is in high demand by patients. The majority of patients own cell phones. More than 85% of the world’s population own cell phones and check their phones more than 50 times a day. For most people, their cell phone is their best friend, they check it at night before they go to bed, they check it first thing in the morning, they check it at work and almost every other time. This is because it is just so easy and convenient, so a lot of patients prefer to receive information from their service providers through this method.
- It Helps Patients connect with their Doctors Outside the Office
This is another reason why patients prefer text messaging as a means of communication as it helps them keep in touch with their HCPs outside the office and during appointment hours. Over 69% of patients want to communicate with their service providers in between appointments and text messaging can help them do this. HCPs can also use it to communicate and reschedule appointment times and also help patients manage their healths.
- It Makes Follow-ups and Reminders Easier
Healthcare service providers can use text messaging to help patients manage chronic conditions by sending them reminders about prescriptions, appointments, and medications.
They can also use it to remind patients about treatment plans thereby improving the overall experience of patients.
Risks involved in Text Messaging in Healthcare
While there are many benefits of using text messaging to reach out to patients in healthcare, understanding and managing the risks involved will help to make the experience much safer and better.
Text messaging doesn’t just have to do with texts but also involves sending images, audio and videos. Sometimes sending important health information can be done through text messaging, this can be risky as a lot of messaging platforms do not have end-to-end encryption and user data can be stolen by data predators.
Messages can also be accidentally sent to the wrong individuals which could result in privacy issues and sometimes these messages can also be lost accidentally or deleted.
While text messaging may have its risk the benefits cannot be ignored, every risk has its solution and in time text messaging will be used in almost every part of healthcare to make the patient experience better and their lives a little easier.