Posted on February 15, 2021 in General
Best Practices for Patient Messaging
The fact is, today’s generation of healthcare consumers is a lot different than 20 or even ten years ago. Healthcare consumers expect communication to be as easy and fast as possible, and most preferably from their mobile devices. One powerful tool that has been embraced incredibly well in the healthcare industry is SMS messaging, and here are a few stats to shed more light on the power of texting:
- Texts have an average response time of only 90 seconds.
- Ninety-nine percent of texts are read.
- SMS click-through rates are 25 times higher than email.
When it comes to building lasting relationships with your patients through ongoing communication, here are some of the best SMS practices.
- Obtain Consent
When you are first in contact with a potential patient or an existing patient you haven’t messaged yet, you must ask their permission to use SMS messaging for communicating prior to texting them. Just because someone has provided their phone number doesn’t mean they agree to receive your messages. Failing to do so can result in legal implications.
- Take Advantage of Two-Way Texting to Connect with Your Patients
Your patients don’t just want to receive texts; they also expect to communicate back and forth with your practice. The ability to respond to your appointment reminders and other texts provides patients with a convenient and easy way to get in touch with you if they wish to re-schedule or have additional questions.
- Send Clear and Concise Messages
Texts are supposed to provide important information using the least possible words. You don’t want to bombard your patients with endless details. Remember that 95 percent of texts are opened and read within three minutes of sending them. Thus, it would be in your best interest to keep them as concise and clear and possible.
Otherwise, your recipients will lose interest fast in whatever you have to say and not take action. Your patients should be able to read your message in a matter of seconds. This will increase the chances of them responding to your CTA (Call to Action).
- Personalize Your Text Messages
A cookie-cutter approach to communication rarely works, including in the healthcare industry. Your patients want to feel valued, and one way to do that is to send personalized texts. Ensure you use a patient’s first name whenever you message them. Texts with a personal touch are more impactful and will more likely get your patients to take the desired action.
- Send Messages at the Right Time
You obviously don’t want to send messages in the middle of the night or wake your patients up with a text. So, what is the best time to communicate with your patients. Research shows that the ideal time to send a text message is when people get off work, around 6 pm or in the morning after 9 am. You can also contact them during their lunch break.
- Do Not Send Too Many Messages
Although sending multiple texts can be effective, there’s a fine line between trying to get your message across and being annoying. Ideally, messaging your patients twice or thrice about their upcoming appointments can help you reduce no shows. On the other hand, overdoing it by sending several messages a day can end up raising their anxiety levels, making them not show up, cancel, or opt to go to another healthcare provider.
- Comply with Patient Privacy
By partnering with a secure and compliant text messaging platform like MDprospects, you will make sure your practice is HIPAA compliant. With such a platform, you’ll never have to worry about compromising the privacy of your patients.
Stay Relevant with Your Patients by Leveraging MDprospects’s Two-Way Texting
If texting is the most preferred communication method for your patients, it only makes sense to leverage a HIPAA compliant text messaging platform that works well for your practice. Two-way texting from MDprospects has automated touchpoints to send the right information at the right time, improving patient experience while reducing no-shows. This boosts patient retention and increases the likelihood of your patients referring others to you. To learn how two-way texting from MDprospects can help your practice thrive, please schedule your demo today.