SMS texting an increasingly preferred method of communication for doctors

In healthcare, instant access to information is crucial. Historically, physicians in hospital settings have relied upon their trusty pagers for medical alerts and immediate updates, but a report suggests that more doctors may instead prefer to receive text alerts via SMS messaging.

Researchers conducted an electronic survey, cultivating responses from more than 100 doctors in pediatric hospitals. They presented their findings at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans last month, reporting that 57 percent of respondents send or received work-related text messages in a typical shift.

These communications were not only sent to work-assigned cell phones, according to the report. Forty-one percent of respondents told researchers that they received or sent these messages on their personal phones. In all, 27 percent of surveyed pediatric physicians said text message was their preferred method of communication, compared to 23 percent who preferred using a hospital-assigned pager.

"We are using text messaging more and more to communicate with other physicians, residents and even to transfer a patient to a different unit,” said Stephanie Kuhlmann, MD, who wrote the report's abstract. "We've had such a rapid increase in cell phone use, and I'm not sure that hospitals have caught up by putting in place related processes and protocols."

Those protocols could concern compliance requirements. Regulators impose strict limits on how physicians communicate sensitive information, and now these agencies must consider how much more convenient and widely accepted text messages may soon become in their industry.

Individual practices may want to consult with regulators when crafting SMS messaging policies. Patient privacy is of paramount issue for physicians, making it critical for these concerns to be addressed when developing a system of rules for the use of SMS alerts in medical setting.
 

Users can help hurricane victims by texting donations

As the Eastern Seaboard recovers from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, many people are in need of help. Individuals in the areas hit especially hard – namely New Jersey and New York – are patiently awaiting disaster relief, but many organizations are taking it upon themselves to implement SMS services to help their efforts.

The Red Cross is implementing a service that allows individuals to use short code SMS to text the word "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation. This is one of the many ways the Red Cross is helping the victims of the disaster.

"This storm is dangerous and it's critical to follow the advice of local emergency officials," said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. "If people are told to evacuate, they need to do it. The Red Cross has shelters open and will be opening more throughout the day. Hundreds of disaster workers are ready with relief supplies and emergency vehicles in place to help."

Ultimately, their biggest contribution will be the money sent by mobile phone users around the world. Texting in a donation is simple yet effective and can help a tremendous amount of people at the same time.

This exemplifies why so many organizations are turning to text messaging as a way to reach recipients and conduct tasks such as sending money or offering promotions. This blog has already discussed the programs in place that allow citizens to donate to their favorite presidential candidate, as well as pay for goods and services, all through the use of the SMS application. By texting a contribution to the relief fund, individuals can use their phones to do some real good.

Organizations looking to help victims should consider implementing an SMS service that allows for further donations. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools needed to set up an effective text message program.

 

 

Could texting be the future of mobile payments?

As previously mentioned in this blog, SMS services can be used for a variety of fund transfer purposes, such as donating to the Presidential candidates. Today, that concept is being implemented into consumer purchases. Companies may soon be able to use these services to engage their customers as well as receiving payments, all through the use of the SMS applications.

According to an article in CIO.com, Barclays bank is implementing a series of SMS services that allows customers to transfer money between users and to vendors via text message. The service is eventually turned into a person to person mobile application, but Shaun Trey, the head of mobile banking at Barclays, stressed that text messaging is so important due to its simplicity.

"Wouldn't it be nice to text that person and send them the money you owed them?" Trey told the news source.

This concept could be carried over to the retail industry for a number of different uses. Imagine customers and retail clerks performing transactions by sending text messages to one another. This would build efficiency into the checkout process and ultimately increase retail revenue.

Many industry analysts assumed near field communication (NFC) was the next logical step in mobile payments, but not every device has that functionality. Most recently, the iPhone 5 failed to add it as a new feature. However, every mobile phone allows texting.

Of course, implementing a service like this carries its own set of risks. Bank account security is crucial and companies must ensure that sensitive data is secure. However, a perfected SMS payment system would prove to be a benefit to both businesses and their customers. The convenience offered alone would be worth the implementation.

Companies looking for innovative ways to integrate text messaging into their operations should contact an SMS services provider. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools companies need to conduct all kinds of tasks via texting.

Emergency texts can help those in Hurricane Sandy’s path

As Hurricane Sandy pounds the eastern seaboard, many organizations are opting to send emergency texts in order to keep citizens out of harm's way.

Sending text messages can be the best method of communication during natural disasters for a number of reasons. First, as this blog has mentioned in the past, texting is an effective way to reach a large number of people in a short amount of time. Text messages can transcend device and carrier because every phone these days contains the SMS application.

Moreover, texting becomes increasingly valuable during events where there is a high likelihood of a power failure. Traditional communication methods – landline phone calls and emails to name a few – are typically reliant on electricity. If the power goes out, connecting via a desktop computer is no longer an option. Even laptops will be of little help if the internet goes out. Phone lines traditionally fail early on in massive storms, making phone calls an imperfect option.

In fact, all forms of voice communication – even calls made via mobile phones – aren't practical if the receiving party is in an emergency situation. However, receiving a text is quick, easy and provides valuable information designed to help people in need.

The Federal Communications Commission is on board with emergency texting and instructs relief organizations to use SMS messaging to reach individuals in danger zones.

"Authorized national, state or local government officials send alerts regarding public safety emergencies, such as a tornado or a terrorist threat to CMAS," the FCC site says.

Disaster crews would be wise to invest in SMS services so they can reach anyone in danger in a short amount of time. Texting during these events can keep people out of harm's way and save lives. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools any organization needs to launch effective text alert programs.

Doctors use text messages to communicate with diabetes patients

As this blog has previously mentioned, a number of medical professionals are using text message alerts to communicate with patients and remind them to take their medication. This type of service is especially useful for those with diabetes, due to their strict medication schedules and regimens. 

According to an article from the local Chicago CBS affiliate, doctors at the University of Chicago Medical Center are texting diabetes patients to keep them on track and remind them to take their medicine. Dr. Shantanu Nundy told the news source that his work doesn't stop there however, and that he is using texting to communicate all kinds of valuable information with his patients.

"Some of them are simple reminders, like 'It's 8 o'clock, time to take your medication,'" Nundy said. "Other ones are sort of weekly messages about, 'Here are the types of foods to eat, or not to eat,' and then some of them are questions."

Texting is a valuable communication method because it can reach a large group of people in such a short amount of time. Texts don't have to be long to relay crucial information, so recipients can read them, process what they are being told and go about their day, all in a matter of seconds.

Those tasked with servicing large groups of people such as doctors and social workers typically share the same problem – they only have so many hours in the day to help everyone. Using SMS services to communicate with a large group at once can go a long way in mitigating those challenges.

Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools organizations need to conduct effective text messages and launch successful SMS campaigns.

 

New service keeps entrepreneurs motivated via text messages

One of the more troubling effects of today's uncertain economy is the lack of resources small business owners and entrepreneurs have to succeed in their business ventures. The inability to save and spend on necessary expenditures is hurting today's budding executive, but one individual is trying to change this and is using SMS messaging to help her cause.

Dina Pomeranz, an Entrepreneurial Management professor at Harvard Business School, has launched a program to help young professionals trying to start their own business set up a savings program. In a difficult economy, this is designed to give entrepreneurs a crutch to lean on should we experience another downturn, thus alleviating the dangers of losing the business.

The program was run to research the effects of peer pressure and outside influencers on saving. When participants met their savings goals for a month, they would receive a text congratulating them on doing so. If they failed to meet their goals, they would receive a message scolding them.

Pomeranz told the Harvard Business School's online publication Working Knowledge that the results found more people receiving constant notifications regarding their savings were successful in their efforts.

"It could be that text feedback or getting a message that cheers you on saying 'Yeah, I did it and I can do it again!' is enough to encourage people to make a deposit," she said.

Pomeranz's system was simple, but extremely effective. By sending information to a group of people to update them on their respective goal-reaching statuses, she inspired hard work and discipline. This showcases the power of text messages and why organizations that implement SMS services can make a significant impact in their industry or community.

Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools companies need to launch effective text messaging campaigns.

 

Texting parents is a smart communication strategy for school system

Traditionally, text alert programs have been designed to reach teens and young adults because, quite frankly, they use mobile devices the most. However, as we reported in this blog, mobile usage is growing among older demographics, so now organizations are launching SMS services catered towards a more diverse range of age groups.

According to an article from the local ABC affiliate, the Lincoln Public School system in Lincoln, Nebraska, is implementing a service that will text students' parents in the event of an emergency or important news announcement. This stems from a shooting that took place last week across the street from a local school. Parents who picked their kids up at the end of the day were shocked to discover that an event of that magnitude had taken place so close to the school and many were outraged that no one had bothered to inform them.

That's why the school is launching a service that sends text messages to parents instead of an email or a phone call. When interviewed by the news source, parent Amanda Brick expressed satisfaction in the decision because texting reaches the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time.

"There are people out there that don't have voicemails of answering machines and a lot of times, it's easier if you're at work to check a text message than it is to answer your phone," Brick said. "So I think it's a good thing for a lot of parents."

The school had originally made phone calls to parents, but as adults increasingly adopt texting as their preferred communication method, SMS messages make the most sense. Organizations should consider the fact that texts can be received by anyone at any time when orchestrating alert services. Swift SMS Gateway can offer the tools needed to launch successful text alerts campaigns.

 

The power of carefully crafted text messages: Less is more

All business processes must be conducted while adhering to best practices. Text message marketing is no different. As we have mentioned in this blog, sending inaccurate information or setting inconvenient messaging schedules can hinder the effectiveness of an SMS marketing campaign. These are important things to remember, but there are other factors to consider as well.

An article in the online publication Business 2 Community lists three do's and three don'ts of text message marketing. While this blog has discussed many of them, there is one that sticks out that is an essential component of all marketing strategies – don't try to say too much.

"Sometimes marketers try to squeeze in way too much information in those 160 text characters," writes Liga Bizune, the author of the article. "Often it results in skipped letters, grammar failures and a lack of logic. In SMS marketing, less is more."

One of the primary advantages of marketing via text messaging is the minimalist nature of SMS. It's important to send quick, focused messages that contain important information while leaving the recipient wanting to know more. If a reader absorbs all relevant info from one text message, there isn't much incentive to follow up. A small tease for a product, service or event, followed by a strong call to action, will be much more effective in enticing customers to either respond to the text or contact the client in any other way that's convenient for them.

Businesses that follow this important step will go a long way in improving their engagement strategies. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools companies need to launch effective SMS campaigns and craft powerful, enticing messages.

Texting gives voters the information they need on election day

We are only a few short weeks from election day and various voters groups are pooling their resources to generate strategies to increase turnout. Regardless of political affiliation, it's important that people get out and vote, so many voting organizations are turning to SMS services to bolster their efforts.

This blog has already covered the tremendous effect texting has had on political elections. Presidential candidates are receiving donations via text and earlier this year Canadian groups sent messages to remind citizens to vote. But, as November 6 gets closer, it's important for citizens to be well-informed about where to go, what time to vote and any other people need to know about the day.

"Text messaging is used by everyone, regardless of income, race or political party, so it's the perfect tool to reach voters of all stripes this election season," said Jed Alpert, a mobile development professional who is partnering with groups such as the Voting Information Project and New Organizing Institute. "In 2012 there's no reason anyone who wants to vote should be excluded due to lack of information."

This exemplifies the value of sending SMS messages to broadcast information. For example, any voter registered with a group implementing a text alerts service can receive important information such as the closest voting station with one simple text message. This valuable data can be sent to a large group of people instantly, which builds efficiency into their own operations.

Any company looking to reach a large collection of recipients in a short amount of time can benefit from SMS messaging. This goes for organizations providing a service as well as companies sending mobile marketing messages. Swift SMS Gateway provides the tools businesses need to launch effective text messaging campaigns.

 

 

For text messages to be effective, they must be accurate

Sending text messages to reach a large group of customers, prospects or any other group of individuals that may need help is certainly beneficial, but it is practice that must be conducted properly.

Tulane University implemented a text alerts program to reach students in the event of an emergency. As this blog has mentioned in the past, this service has proven to be helpful in a number of instances, but benefits are only realized if the messages conveyed are accurate.

In the case of Tulane, school officials recently sent out an alert to students and faculty members informing them of a shooting on campus. However, according to a report in the New Orleans Times Picayune, there was a problem with the message – there was no shooting.

Mike Strecker, a spokesman for the University, told the campus publication The Tulane Hullabaloo that an accident had occurred and that students should not pay attention to the message.

"There is no validity to that text," Strecker said. "There is not a shooting. It was a mistake."

The incident occurred because Tulane was testing its emergency text message service and accidentally sent the message to every student. While this was a simple mistake that will likely be fixed, it illustrates the importance of ensuring that all communication sent to a mass group of people is accurate.

If wrong information is sent, it automatically compromises the legitimacy of the sender. In some cases, the damage could be irreparable. This goes beyond alerts as well. If a company were to send inaccurate information regarding a special offer, the business would take a significant hit.

By taking time to carefully craft messages, companies can ensure that their communication will be well-received and return a benefit to the organization. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools businesses need to orchestrate, effective text messages for all purposes.