Communication is a huge part of all businesses, but it’s especially important in a medical practice. Whether it’s a good thing or not, our new technological world includes many options for communication. Text messaging is quickly becoming a number one method for patient-physician correspondences. There are pros and cons to texting, but either way it’s important that today’s successful medical offices adapt or be left behind. Below are some important issues to consider before implementing text messaging into your medical practice.
Give your patients an option.
Use a method of communication that appeals to your patient, whether it’s phone, email, or text. Today’s busy, tech savvy individuals will appreciate a seamless and less cumbersome form of communication. However, not everyone loves or even understands texting. Make sure your office is using a communication channel specific to each patient and there is documentation to support each patient’s choice.
There are security risks.
While there are many benefits to text messaging, it can present major legal issues if used carelessly. It is important to research the laws behind this type of communication and the issues that can arise if privacy is breached.
Create a policy.
Because of the risks attached to texting, it is especially critical that your office has a standard written policy in place that protects your patients and your office. In addition, a quality messaging system will need a process that requires some auditing and monitoring. It is also a good idea to set up a verification system. This ensures the identity of the person receiving the text is valid and assists with no-shows, cancellations, and confirmations.
Weigh the pros and cons.
While there may be some uneasiness behind texting within your medical practice, there are many advantages. Texting allows patients to access information at their convenience. It lessens the time your front office staff is on the phone. Most importantly, it can help in decreasing no-shows. No-shows are a substantial problem for most practices, as they can cause scheduling headaches and impact your bottom line. Text and email reminders help reduce this risk and create more profitability for your office.
Medical office texting can literally change the way you do business. It brings your appointments back at their scheduled times which saves money and lost patients. Being in an innovative, technological generation, it is becoming the preferred method of contact. This can be a great thing for your staff and your patients. However, there is a lot to consider before making the leap. It is essential that this is all discussed and researched before implementing a new system to keep your office secure and running smoothly.
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