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4 April 2019

Healthcare facility cuts agency costs by 20% with SMS

SMS is a very powerful tool which can deliver significant benefits to organisations within the healthcare sector. From sending automated appointment reminders and medication reminders to patients, scheduling staff shifts quickly and efficiently, to creating customised healthcare marketing programs which might include motivational messages or details of new medications, business messaging can help your practice save time and money while delivering better patient outcomes.

In an industry with such high costs, the healthcare industry is a perfect candidate for the efficiency gains and customer service improvements that can be achieved through the application of simple SMS healthcare solutions.

Appointment reminders: Cut costly no-shows

Patient no-shows for scheduled appointments at hospitals or medical clinics are a regular occurrence which cost both time and money. Failure-to-attend (FTA) leaves medical practices out of pocket, while preventing other patients being seen in a timely manner.

Appointment reminder SMS messages are an effective and non-intrusive way to address this issue by sending patients a simple text message containing their appointment date and time, with the option to reply ‘Y’ or ‘N’ if they can or cannot attend. This proactive solution can significantly cut costly no-shows and improve outcomes for both parties.

  • SMS is a quick, cost-effective, and non-intrusive method to communicate appointment reminder information to patients
  • Reduces lost revenue from FTA incidents
  • Appointment reminder SMS also allows patients to cancel or reschedule appointments quickly
  • Great response rate with over 90 percent of SMS messages opened and read within 90 seconds

Staff rostering for simple shift management 

Rostering staff can be a challenge for businesses at the best of times, but in the healthcare industry, a fully rostered workforce is crucial for optimal patient care.

Using business messaging for staff rostering is an effective tool to communicate directly with medical and nursing staff, fill absentee shifts and flexibly reschedule working hours when necessary. This simple application reduces the reliance on external agency staff, while improving attendance rates for rostered staff, saving medical practice time and money and, most crucially, ensuring there are enough trained professionals on hand at all times to take care of patients.

Using SMS to fill vacant shifts saved approximately 20 percent in agency fees at a large Australian residential aged care provider, Estia Health Aged Care.

“We’ve also found staff spend less time calling other staff members to fill shifts. Though I can’t provide a figure for time saved through not making these calls, it would be very high. This is the greatest benefit for our business, as we need our staff helping residents, not spending time on the phone trying to find a replacement for a vacant shift,” says Systems Manager, Jeremy Cassidy.

  • SMS staff rostering is an ideal tool for scheduling staff rosters and filling absentee shifts. Simply SMS staff members the shift details and they reply ‘Y’ or ‘N’ if they can attend
  • Reduces time and money by allowing you to fill shifts with internal staff
  • Ideal for managing last minute changes or emergencies

Medication reminders for superior patient care

Patients, especially those on long-term care plans, can naturally become forgetful or confused when faced with an array of medications they should be regularly taking. Medication reminders are a simple way to make life easier for both doctor and patient by sending automated reminder text messages to patients when they are due to take their next pill or self-administered test.

This solution is non-intrusive, automated, and can ensure patients follow their medication requirements to achieve better health outcomes.

  • Medication reminder SMS is a simple, automated method for reminding patients to take vital medications or complete a self-administered test
  • Messages can be scheduled for repeat delivery at pre-determined times
  • Delivery verification and read receipts also give medical practitioners peace of mind

Find out more about SMS for healthcare here or contact our experts here.

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