How Messaging Helps Patients Stay on Track — From Medication Adherence to Keeping Appointments

Your role in the health and wellness industry focuses on the well-being of your patients, and even though keeping them on track may be hard at times, messaging can help. Your patients are living busy lives with calendars full of work, family, and personal activities and responsibilities, resulting in delays in taking medication or keeping vital appointments. Missing appointments or failing to take medication as prescribed can lead to serious health issues and a heavy expense for the patient, provider, and insurance companies. Thankfully, a simple messaging solution can expand your reach and help keep your patients on track.

Medication Delays and Forgetfulness

Medication Delays and Forgetfulness

The National Library of Medicine reported that up to 50% of patients taking medications struggle to maintain their physician’s recommendations. One of the top factors contributing to nonadherence is a lack of social support and overconfidence in patients’ memory. Thankfully, messaging can aid in both areas.

According to Science Direct, short and simple SMS messaging has proven to reduce medication delays from 85% to 19% after adding a text messaging solution in a clinical trial. The study found that personalized and timely reminders through SMS can improve medication adherence, saving medication costs and leading to substantial improvements in health and disease management.

Reducing No-Shows with SMS Messages

Missing appointments can wreak havoc on patient health as well as office efficiency, creating longer wait times and inefficient use of resources. Research shows that the primary reason patients miss appointments is forgetfulness, and sending a simple text message reminder can help keep them on track.

Messaging not only reduces patient no-shows to appointments. Simple texts can also ensure they arrive on time. The domino effect of late arrivals can disrupt the flow of the entire day. Reminding them of the date and time via messaging days before, 24 hours prior, and the day of the appointment can help ensure patients arrive on time.

Use SMS Messaging to Engage Patients

Use SMS Messaging to Engage Patients

You can also use messaging to check in with your patients between appointments, keeping them engaged in their health and with your office. Creating automated messages using your database (CRM) and a messaging platform like SMS-Magic can save your office time. By creating segmented lists based on various factors in your database, you can send personalized and relevant messages to their phone screen.

Asking questions is a fantastic way to prompt engagement, like “Have you gotten your 30 minutes of exercise for your heart health today?” or “Meditation is a great way to reduce anxiety. Here’s a FREE 5-minute session [Link].” These interactive check-ins will keep your patients engaged with helpful information and can help keep your services in mind.

Sending Helpful Healthcare and Program Information

Absorbing healthcare information can be overwhelming for patients at times. You can help them understand their medical plan, prescriptions, and diagnosis by sending messages with links to more information that can supplement office visits and phone calls.

In addition, healthcare providers often recommend non-pharmaceutical interventions like meditation, mindfulness exercises, mental healthcare, or smoking cessation programs, and messages are crucial to keeping them on track. These program messages can be inspirational and motivating, provide links to assignments or videos, or be informational with recent statistics and research. Regardless of the information sent, messaging can send it all to their phones, keeping your patients committed, informed, and up to date.

Use Surveys to See How You're Doing

Use Surveys to See How You’re Doing

While adding messaging as a communication channel will help your patients stay on top of their health and keep your office efficient, there are always ways to improve. Surveys help you gather information to improve your processes, and you can obtain this valuable feedback quickly with messaging. The text message survey can be a poll, text-to-vote, or net promoter score, or you can also include a link to a web-based survey. Keyword triggers can help gather even more data you need with a back-and-forth flow of questions and answers.

The Bottom Line

Although your patients may be busy, most of them check their phones more than 90 times a day, and you can use this to your advantage by sending vital medical information and reminders directly to their phones with messaging.

Ready to get messaging working for your staff and your patients? To get started with SMS-Magic, contact our customer support team for a demo or a free trial!

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