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5 Unique Ways of Using SMS in Healthcare

BONUS MATERIAL: SMS API Integration Checklist

Several of our customers are in the healthcare industry – clinics, appointment scheduling software companies, and full-blown EMR (electronic medical records) software companies. At this point, it’s obvious that SMS notifications to patients are one of the primary use cases of SMS messaging (as with any business) yet we’ve learned of a few other ways that healthcare-related organizations are using our SMS API

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Patient care and healthcare outcomes are priorities for physicians, and technology continues to improve the patient experience. Deploying something as simple as an SMS API has a relatively significant impact on the patient experience. So, here are a few more ways SMS messaging helps in the healthcare sector. 

1. Call-to-action 

Ok, this is related to those appointment reminders, but we’ve got to bring it up. If you’re adding an appointment reminder, add a shortened link for rescheduling. The clinic will save time, the patient doesn’t need to make a phone call, and the clinic recovers the revenue with an immediately rescheduled appointment. These timely messages are best sent beforehand as they reduce client no-shows and drive future appointments. 

2. Notifying staff 

Don’t stop with the patients. Clinic and hospital staff carry mobile devices as well, so manage internal communication and activity with instant SMS notifications. For added speed of delivery and immediate attention grabbing you can use Flash SMS

Some ideas: emergency messages, maintenance schedules, scheduled cleaning, meeting reminders, shift changes, and even team member birthdays can all be covered via a quick SMS message. 

3. Patient care 

Appointment reminders aren’t the only notifications patients appreciate. How about test results? A quick SMS message alerts the patient that results are available, and a shortened link can lead them to the comprehensive results in the patient portal. 

Recurrent reminders for prescription refills and recurring appointments can be triggered, or even a reminder to take medication, can prove to be helpful. And these can be useful for the doctors as well - notifying of regular check-ups, giving an overview of the patient’s health before an appointment, etc. 

4. News and alerts 

Keep patients informed. Maybe there’s an outbreak in the community that people should know about. Or send health tips and news to patients with a call-to-action to schedule an appointment to learn more. 

And maybe the clinic has some new services or new physicians that patients should know about. For example, physical therapy, therapy dogs, dietary counselling, etc. SMS is an effective tool for all these scenarios, as it’s like SMS marketing. 

5. Healthcare software needs to include SMS 

While our SMS API, for example, is simple to deploy, not every clinic has an IT department with developers on staff. This is where healthcare software companies fill the void. EMR software companies or appointment scheduling software companies must give their clients options in communicating with patients, including SMS. 

Not only is it a win for healthcare providers and their patients, but SMS also becomes part of the revenue model for the healthcare software company. Just as with any CRM, healthcare management software can provide bulk SMS as part of the package for clinics and hospitals providing a valuable service for a reasonable price

6. (Bonus) Consider omnichannel messaging 

Lastly, omnichannel messaging takes things further with more interactive calls-to-action, as well as more contextual, richer communication. More messaging channels gives patients choices in the way they communicate with their healthcare providers. And that’s powerful, as it helps with the preventative approach to healthcare. A quick message keeps someone’s health top of mind.

Taavi Rebane
2019-01-30 00:00:00 UTC