Hospitals in the US lose $12 billion every year to problems caused by communication. The problem is outdated or unpopular communication methods; 7 in 10 people want the option to text their medical provider and 9 in 10 want to communicate with a loved one’s care team via text. Less than 1 in 10 read messages sent through a secure patient portal. Mobile communication is desired by patients in connecting with hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and insurance providers. People interact through smartphones in their everyday lives already, so why should healthcare be different?
Reminder messages aren’t just desired by patients. They also increase prescription refills, patient responses, and appointment confirmations. 80% of healthcare professionals already think patients would be more successful with coaching between appointments. Coaching can include providing additional information and encouragement, answering follow-up questions as they arise, and giving reminders to take medication and check relevant vital signs. Reducing medical errors could save lives; 30% of malpractice cases result from communication failures.
Communication technology can be used to reduce costs and deliver a better patient experience. Text-based appointment reminders in particular could save $150 per missed appointment. That is $275,000 per year for a single clinic. Using automated mobile messages is cheaper than phone calls and reduces staff time by 17%. By integrating communication and medical records, one can achieve a perfect blend of automation and personalization. A physician can remind their entire patient list of an upcoming flu shot while individuals get messages when their test results are in.
Going a step further, two-way messaging works better than simple reminders. It allows real-time conversation to occur on a secure platform. Using a system that provides operational stability and seamless integration of healthcare interactions can improve the confidence of the user in the system.