Doctor’s office using text messages to remind patients of appointments

It is a fact that many young people are forgetful, especially when it comes to keeping appointments. With so much going on, it is easy for things to fall through the cracks. This is where setting reminders has become a common strategy and some businesses are starting to realize that using technology may be the best way to stay in touch with consumers.

A recent article from News Works profiled Spectrum Health Services Center, which is located in North and West Philadelphia. Looking for a way to better reach their patients when it comes to appointment reminders, family doctor Ian Bennett decided it was time to put down the phone and get with the times.

Patients had told him and his office that they preferred to be contacted via text message. This was especially true with those who were under 30-years old. To see if there was an actual difference in using text messages, Bennett and his team at the University of Pennsylvania started studying the effects.

According to Spectrum's COO Brenda Noel, 90 percent of the patients own a cell phone. This is a device that is always with them and sending a quick text as an appointment reminder is guaranteed to get through. So far, more than 600 patients have opted into the study to get their notifications through the text platform.

Bennett added that this is something that would benefit all patients and patients do not need a fancy smartphone to benefit. The low-tech process is also perfect for low-income members.

"They're not sitting at desks all day reading email," Bennett said. "We really need to be working as a health system toward making our services more accommodating to that particular population."

This is just one example of how small business have been able to improve operations through the use of text messaging software.