Four Ways to Use Text Messaging to Increase Patient Volume

Where is your mobile device right now? On your desk? In your pocket?

Wherever it may be, I can bet that it’s close by. And that close proximity to your phone is revealing of the type of access you can achieve with your target audience. It may come as a surprise, but an increase in patient volume can be achieved through text messaging. Why? Because it guarantees instant notice.

Here are four simple ways you can use text messaging to the advantage of your healthcare system:

1. Feedback: Use text messaging as a medium that welcomes comments from the community while limiting the amount that each person can contribute (150-175 seem to be the magic number). Allow room for your patients to be heard, yet keep comments focused.

2. Reminders: In today’s busy world, patients will appreciate the simplicity of receiving appointment reminders in a convenient fashion. This reaches across demographics and is one of the most effective ways to disseminate brief information that is easy to remember.

3. Education: Health tips and education can reinforce your hospital system as a resource. Along with providing education, you also have the option to elicit immediate reactions and response from recipients (i.e. schedule an appointment).

4. Fundraising: A text message fundraising campaign offers the ease of donation. Simply requesting users text a keyword to a number can instantly add the donation to their monthly mobile bill. You gain the benefit of associating your hospital system with cause marketing and doing a good thing!

At the end of the day, text messaging gives you the ability to monitor increases in patient volume by providing a medium for tracking measurable results. Along with text messaging’s immediacy and the ability to geographically position, it’s a cost effective tactic to engage your target audience.

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