An SMS a day keeps the doctor away

Published on 31 August 2016

By BulkSMS.com Marketing Department

Almost all interactions in the health and wellness industry are of the face to face kind and often require direct communication between the client and the care provider. What better way to add to that interaction than through trusted and personalised SMS communications?

While the uses of SMS in the wellness industry are broad, here are some examples of where SMS can be used to meet the communication needs within the health and wellness sector:

  • Appointment reminders — Sending out an SMS message detailing the time and address of the appointment up to 24 hours before reduces no shows and last minute cancellations. Most clients have access to a mobile phone and can refer back to their SMS messages to double check the time of their appointment. Clients can also reply to the SMS message to confirm or cancel an appointment.
  • Reminders to collect test results or scripts — Instead of making numerous calls to a patient who doesn't or can’t answer their phone, an SMS can be sent when test results are in, asking the patient to set up a follow up appointment or to collect a script.
  • Payment confirmations and reminders — If clients or patients intend to make payment at a later date, a reminder SMS can be sent a few days before the payment due date. A follow up message could also be sent upon receipt of payment.
  • Promotions — Many wellness providers use SMS to market their specials or promotions. SMS is immediate and keeps clients up to date on new deals and products. A personalised SMS sent directly to their mobile phone offers immediate delivery and is more likely to be read faster than through social media or email.
  • Notifications about office hours — An SMS can be sent to all clients or patients during the holiday season outlining the dates and times that the business may be closed. This can include information such as who to contact in an emergency or how to make a future dated appointment during those times.
  • Support related to their service offering — For example, a general practitioner might know that one of their patients is trying to stop smoking, so they send daily SMS messages offering support in this regard for a predetermined amount of time. Nutritionists could also send daily meal plans to aid clients on their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
  • Requesting feedback — SMS messages can be sent to clients or patients asking for their feedback on anything from waiting time, to the service provider’s interaction, to how the client may feel post appointment.

Given the nature of the healthcare industry, successful communication between healthcare providers and patients is vital. SMS messages are instant, reliable and personal; features which have demonstrated to be effective in improving customer service. To top it all off, SMS messages are used to send short and important messages, keeping both patients and care providers informed and, ultimately, healthy.