Short Message Service (SMS) is most commonly known as text messaging. It is a widely used communication technology for sending and receiving short text messages between mobile devices. Users can send text-based messages up to 160 characters.
SMS has become an integral part of modern communication, with text messaging being a normal aspect of our daily lives. Getting in contact with people is as easy as sending a text. While other messaging platforms and methods have become available, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage, SMS continues to be relevant and widely used thanks to its reliability and universal compatibility.
Benefits of SMS in healthcare
SMS has numerous benefits when used in the healthcare industry, including enhancing communication while improving patient outcomes and overall management. Here are some of the key benefits of using SMS in healthcare.
Accessibility and reach
Text messaging is easy and familiar, making SMS a natural and unobtrusive method of connecting with patients. Unlike some specialized healthcare apps or platforms, SMS doesn't require patients to download additional software or learn a new interface. It's a medium that people are already comfortable with, making it an accessible and user-friendly channel for healthcare communication.
Because SMS doesn't depend on internet connectivity or specific smartphone models, it's easier to access and reach a wider audience. SMS works on virtually all mobile phones, ensuring that healthcare messages reach even those in rural or underserved areas.
Utilizing SMS allows healthcare providers to send out timely reminders, resulting in enhanced time management. SMS appointment reminders can be sent out on schedules ahead of visits to help reduce the number of missed appointments and aid healthcare professionals in maintaining and optimizing their schedules. Text messages can also prompt patients to take their medication on time, resulting in better health outcomes.
Since SMS texts can be programmed for automated messaging, medical providers can set up appointments and prescription reminders and share other healthcare information simply and quickly. SMS messages are delivered nearly instantly, making them the perfect solution for healthcare communication.
Another benefit of text messaging is that it allows for two-way communication between healthcare providers and patients. SMS messaging provides an interactive platform where patients can ask questions, provide feedback, or request information.
Engaging patients can lead to better outcomes, improved satisfaction, and more efficient healthcare delivery. Medical texting involves all levels of patient outreach, including following up after appointments or procedures.
Ease of use
One of the greatest benefits of SMS in healthcare is the ease of use. SMS is straightforward and requires minimal training for both healthcare providers and patients. It doesn't require downloading special apps or even the use of a smartphone. SMS is integrated on all mobile devices, making it simple to receive and send texts. Healthcare workers can also send mass text messages and set up recurring SMS reminders.
Medical texting can also be customized to meet the individual needs of patients. Tailoring SMS messages to the specific needs and preferences of each patient provides a personalized approach to increase patient engagement.
SMS for healthcare providers can help reduce administrative overhead and improve resource allocation in healthcare settings. The cost of sending SMS messages is relatively low, especially compared to phone calls or paper mail. Plus, SMS automation tools help organizations save time and money by sending bulk messages and automating processes.
Applications of SMS in healthcare