US healthcare systems are facing multiple challenges in 2023, including staff shortages, rising costs, and a growing population living with chronic health conditions. These issues can lead to care gaps, ie patients that do not receive the treatment they need.
Text messaging: a simple way to bridge care gaps
SMS text messaging is a simple, affordable way to help bridge care gaps. It can be used to:
- Send reminders: Patients can receive reminders about upcoming appointments, medication refills, and other important health information.
- Answer questions: Patients can ask their providers questions about their health, treatment plans, or medications and get an answer within a few minutes to hours.
- Provide emotional support: Patients can receive support from their care team in near real time. The effect of a text message for seniors living on their own or patients struggling with their condition can be dramatic.
- Schedule appointments: Texting, an asynchronous communication method, is simply much more effective than waiting 20 minutes on the phone.
SMS text messaging can be used by people of all ages, but it is especially beneficial for patients who have difficulty getting to appointments or who have limited access to transportation. It is also a good option for patients who are not comfortable using other forms of communication, such as patient portals, apps or email.
Texting is positively impacting U.S. healthcare
In addition to the use cases mentioned above, texting can:
- Increase patient satisfaction: Patients who use SMS text messaging are often more satisfied with their care. This is because they feel more connected to their providers and they have a better understanding of their health.
- Improve health outcomes: SMS text messaging can help to reduce hospital costs by increasing care plan adherence, lowering the number of missed appointments and reducing readmissions.
Bottom line, SMS text messaging is a simple but valuable tool that can help to improve operational efficiency. It is a simple, low-cost, and effective way for patients to stay connected with their providers and to get the care they need.
How to transition your practice to texting
Companies like Twig Health are helping hospitals and health systems transition from cumbersome phone communications to texting. Instead of building out these capabilities internally, hospitals outsource care coordination to Twig, saving time and improving outcomes. Learn more about Twig’s concierge care management as a service.