Communication is a massive part of all businesses, but it’s vital in a medical practice.
Whether it’s a good thing or not, our new technological world includes many options for communication. Text messaging is quickly becoming a number one method for patient-physician correspondences.
There are some pros and cons to texting, but either way, today’s successful medical offices must adapt. Below are some important issues to consider before implementing text messaging into your medical practice.
Why consider texting?
Texting can be a very powerful and valuable tool to most medical practices. Here are a few key stats:
- Text click-through rates are 25X higher than email
- 99% of texts are read
- The average response time for a text is 90 seconds
Schedule and confirm appointments quicker.
You must see patients to run and grow your practice. But even if they want to see you, there are plenty of reasons why they might miss their appointment. They forget, something comes up, or maybe they have transportation issues. Whatever the reason, this causes lost loss of revenue and time.
That’s why quick appointment reminders are so crucial. If there is an issue, people are far more likely to follow up with a text than to a call. Then you can schedule, reschedule and avoid a no-show. A quick confirmation and you’ve got another appointment in the books!
Understand there are security risks.
While there are many benefits to text messaging, it can present significant legal issues if used carelessly.
It will be critical to research the laws behind this type of communication and the issues that can arise if privacy is breached.
Give your patients an option.
Use a method of communication that appeals to your patient, whether it’s phone, email, or text. Today’s busy and tech-savvy individuals will appreciate a seamless and less cumbersome form of communication.
However, not everyone loves or even understands texting. Ensure your office uses a communication channel-specific to each patient, and there is documentation to support each patient’s choice.
You will need to create a policy.
Because of the risks attached to texting, it is important that your office has a standard written policy in place that protects your patients and your office.
In addition, a quality messaging system will need a process that requires some auditing and monitoring. It is also a good idea to set up a verification system. This ensures the identity of the person receiving the text is valid and assists with no-shows, cancellations, and confirmations.
Earn more feedback.
Feedback is crucial to improving your practice. But it can be challenging to get the patient feedback you need. That’s why many healthcare practices turn to texting.
You can even trigger these messages from your patient software to send once the visit is complete.
Weigh the pros and cons with your staff.
While there may be some uneasiness behind texting within your medical practice, there are many advantages. Texting allows:
- Patients to access information at their convenience
- It lessens the time your front office staff is on the phone
- Most importantly, it can help in decreasing no-shows
No-shows are a substantial problem for most practices, as they can cause scheduling headaches and impact your bottom line. Text and email reminders help reduce this risk and create more profitability for your office.
Medical office texting can literally change the way you do business. It brings your patients back at their scheduled times which saves money. Being in an innovative, technological generation, it is becoming the preferred method of contact. This can be an excellent thing for your staff and your patients.
However, there is a lot to consider before leaping. This must be discussed and researched before implementing a new system to keep your office secure and running smoothly. If your medical office uses texting, we would love to hear about it on our Facebook page!
Tags: medical office management, national organization of rheumatology managers, NORM, office managers, Patient technology, Text messaging, tips for office managers Posted by