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How SMS technology is mitigating healthcare no-show rates

We have asked several healthcare professionals and their patients on their experiences with using SMS in their business communication and scheduling.

Watch our short video below to see their responses.

Transcript of the video:

Rachel, Practice Manager, Motion Health: I love using SMS messages. I find that it’s easy and very practical not having to call people. Leaving messages is quite impersonal.

Pippa, Managing Director, The Sports Injury Clinic: We couldn’t not use it. It does save time and you have to remind people about their appointments. And then they update you, you can fill the spots if they don’t want to come.

Jamie, Administration Co-ordinator, The Sports Injury Clinic: Text messaging is the easiest way. I read text, but if I don’t know a number I don’t pick it up.

Efficient and effective

Lisa, Medical Receptionist, Motion Health: The efficiency of the SMS as a staff member is great, because we just click a few buttons and everyone for our appointments tomorrow gets a reminder that they’ve got an appointment. On the other side of the coin, I am really busy, and so, I receive them as well because I do the classes. And it’s just a reminder for me that I’ve got a class tomorrow so that I don’t miss out. So I think both sides [are] fantastic.

Rachel: SMS option is far more effective than any other form of communication. So whether it be a phone call, sending a letter, or an email, most people usually have their phones on them, so to send a text message, they’re getting that communication straightaway. So definitely it’s the most easy and effective way to communicate.

Mandy, Practice Manager, Oak Park Physiotherapy Clinic: When we send our messages out probably within about five minutes we usually start getting phone calls, and we know that people are [saying] “Ah sorry, I can’t make that appointment” or “Thanks for that, can we change it?”. Within five minutes usually of us sending it out, we’re getting messages back.

Using SMS to communicate with patients and clients

Jacquetta, Patient, Motion Health: I found the SMS messages that I receive on my mobile phone invaluable as I’m caring for my elderly mother at the moment. I’m coordinating her appointments, and what I’m doing during a busy, hectic schedule is fantastic.

Pippa: Our clients are now relying on it as opposed to if we didn’t have it then they have… We have another way of communicating with them, but it may be appointment cards where things get written down wrong or they lose them, or they haven’t put it in their diary. Whereas this they are getting it 24 hours before their appointment.

Improved attendance rates and money savings

Rachel: Not only has it improved attendance, but it also allows us to have really effective diary management. Should they get their text message, realise they can’t come, they normally call straight away, and that way we are able to fill their spot quite quickly.

Jacquetta, Patient: It’s very important because you don’t want to let down the organisation that you’ve made the appointment with, and it’s efficient. I consider it incredibly efficient.

Jamie: Definitely you will save money on your non-attendance. That’s probably our biggest, saving money on non-attendance and people not coming in for those appointments, and you’ve always got time then if you’re sending them the day before to fill those spots. It’s definitely worthwhile.