Earlier this month, the U.S. Surgeon General released a landmark report on loneliness, calling it a “public health crisis.” Loneliness is associated with a number of negative health outcomes, including increased risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, depression, and anxiety, according to the report. Loneliness can also lead to premature death.

Loneliness is on the rise in the United States with one in five adults report feeling lonely. This is especially true for older adults, people with chronic health conditions, and people who live in rural areas.

Loneliness can have a significant impact on a person’s health and well-being. It can make it difficult to manage chronic health conditions, adhere to treatment plans, and cope with stress.

The surgeon general laid out a six-point plan to advance social connections. One of them includes the healthcare sector.

Mobilizing the health sector

Loneliness and isolation are risk factors for several major health conditions as well as for premature death, health care providers are well-positioned to assess patients for risk of loneliness and intervene.

Texting with patients can be a way to help overcome some of the challenges of loneliness. It can provide a sense of connection and support, and it can be a way to check in with patients and see how they are doing. SMS Texting can also be used to provide reminders about appointments, medication refills, and other important health information.

Here are some tips for texting with patients:

  • Be clear about your purpose: When you are texting with patients, be clear about your purpose. Are you sending a reminder, answering a question, or providing support?
  • Be timely: Respond to patients’ texts in a timely manner. This will help to build trust and rapport.
  • Be personal: Use a personal tone in your texts. This will help patients feel more connected to you.

Texting with patients is a valuable tool that can help to improve the quality of care. It is a way to connect with patients, provide support, and help them get the care they need.

How to transition your practice to texting

Companies like Twig Health are helping hospitals and health systems transition from ineffective phone communications to texting by providing an outsourced solution.

Twig is a human concierge service co-piloted by advanced AI/ChatGPT, engaging patients with text messages on behalf of care teams. To see if Twig can help extend your care team’s patient engagement, book a demo.