Reduce patient waiting times in healthcare with a simple SMS

October is typically the month in which cases of flu increase, resulting in doctors' waiting rooms getting filled with patients. This makes it very important for doctors to run their medical practice as efficiently as possible during this time of the year. Discover the possibilities that mobile can offer as a solution in healthcare.

Reduce patient waiting times

With crowded waiting rooms, you would want to spend your time as efficiently as possible. First of all, that means that you want to avoid no-shows as much as possible. You want to reduce patient waiting times. The good news is: that's easier than you might think. With a simple SMS message a few hours before the appointment, you can send your patients a reminder with the specified time, avoiding confusion or mistakes.

Reduce patient waiting times with SMS reminders: The results

You might ask, does such a simple text message really work? Yes, it does reduce patient waiting times! There are more than enough cases to prove this. The MCH in The Hague, for example, uses an SMS system in collaboration with CM. This system sends a reminder to the patient a day before the appointment. This reduced the percentage of no-shows within a few months to under 3%, which meant a major cost reduction for the hospital.

Maasstad Ziekenhuis also introduced SMS based reminders to reduce the number of no-shows. To be able to serve all patients properly, it is necessary to make use of all available hours. If patients don’t show up for their appointment, valuable time gets lost. Two days prior to the appointment, their patients now receive a text message as a reminder.

An SMS as a reminder proved to be more efficient than a reminder by letter. SMS is also a cheaper alternative to mail and just like voice messages, proved to result in the highest reduction in no-shows. SMS is also a very effective solution for a change in patients' behavior and improves regular hospital visits and drug intake.

Prevention is better than curing: SMS for medication and treatment adherence

Real Time Medication Monitoring (RTMM) is a "smart medicine box" that automatically sends a text message when the medicine box is not opened in time, to remind the patient of his or her drug intake. An SMS reminder has proven to positively influence consistent drug intake. Other effective ways to improve medication adherence with SMS is to remind patients in time to pick up new medicines, or make an appointment for a flu vaccination. By improving treatment adherence and reducing no-shows with SMS reminders, it requires a minimal effort to increase the efficiency of your medical practice.

Do you want to learn more how you can benefit from SMS to remind patients of appointments and drug intake? Contact Ger Thijssen, our Healthcare Specialist or try SMS now for free.

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