Should Medical Professionals Use Text Messaging, Apps, Email to Connect With Patients?

Missed appointments and frustrated patients. These are problems that have plagued the medical community for decades, but with the advent of mobile text messaging professionals have slowly been decreasing missed appointments and improving patients' health, according to a report by the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Text messaging is a more reliable communication method between practitioners and patient."

While some medical professionals may rely on email and mobile apps to improve operations, text messaging is an even more reliable communication method for practitioners and patients.

Text message alerts have been gaining in popularity in recent years, but some medical professionals saw their validity as far back as 2009. In an interview with Mobihealthnews, Dr. Joe Kvedar of Partners HealthCare's for Connected Health explained why he'd rather use text message alerts over mobile apps.

"We have been very fond of text messaging because it enables us to reach the broadest number of users. If you start out having to narrow your sample size because you are treating people with a certain illness or a certain level of engagement with the system already, then demanding that they have a specific phone or carrier, that can really, really dull the impact of your intervention," he said.

Text messaging doesn't place restrictions on providers or patients based on the type of phone they have or condition they've been diagnosed with – something that can't be said with mobile apps. It's also more likely to be read than emails, which often end up in spam folders or forgotten. Professionals can easily text specific, detailed alerts to patients, ensuring they receive the proper medical treatment in a timely fashion. The end result is a decrease in missed appointments and overall improvement in health. 

If you'd like to incorporate mobile text messaging into your current operations, talk to a third party. These companies will analyze your current business structure and make SMS services recommendations based on your specific needs.