Poor communication is not only frustrating; it is a money sink. Every year, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service loses £1 billion to problems caused by communication failures. The solution, thankfully, is simple, in demand, and applicable in every country and every business.
Patients want to interact with healthcare providers the same way they interact in everyday life. That means having the option of texting their medical provider or communicating with a loved one’s care team via text. Texting is the key to solving communication failures.
In England alone, over 10 million physician appointments are wasted each year due to the patients’ failure to attend. The benefits of reminder messages in this case cannot be overstated. 98% of patients will read a mobile message, but only 7% read messages sent through a secure patient portal. Text-based reminders could save £30 per missed appointment (£216 million per year) as they make it easier for patients to confirm, cancel, or reschedule their appointments as needed.
Using automated messages for reminders is lower than the cost of phone calls while reducing staff time by 17%. The benefits don’t stop there; many patients have a reason beyond neglect for missing an appointment. One-third of those who miss an appointment experience a health emergency within the next 3 months.
After getting patients into the waiting room, the next big communication issue the NHS needs to tackle is medical errors. More than 200 million medication errors occur every year, costing £98.5 million annually. Coaching between appointments on a widely used channel can improve these outcomes dramatically.
80% of healthcare professionals and 42% of patients think that patients would be more successful at managing their treatment if they had coaching between appointments. This can mean providing additional information and encouragement, answering follow-up questions as they arise, or reminding patients to take medications and check relevant vitals.
The main hurdle to implementing these messaging systems is safety. Health records are sensitive information and need to be handled with care. One company that can offer these services securely is Soprano Connect. They have secure healthcare messaging with ISO-27001:2013 certification, operational stability with 99.99% uptime and high message volume capacity, and seamless integration between communication and medical records. Blending automation and personalization with hierarchical, two way mobile messaging systems is their way of bringing healthcare into the 21st century. It’s time healthcare providers joined the rest of the world in using modern digital technology.