Top 5 ways to use SMS broadcast in the healthcare industry

Many organisations in the healthcare industry are starting to take advantage of innovative communication technologies like online fax services and SMS solutionsImplementing an SMS solution in your general practice, clinic,

 hospital or other healthcare organisation can help to instantly improve communication with patients and employees. 

One of the most impactful features of SMS is SMS broadcast, also known as bulk SMS or mass SMS sending. SMS broadcast allows you to reach audiences of one up to thousands of people at once, quickly and reliably.  

In particular, healthcare providers are embracing the use of SMS broadcast to update patients and employees all at the same time, increasing communication and productivity in the workplace.  

We break down the top 5 ways SMS broadcast is used in the healthcare industry and why you should start using SMS today. 

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1. Capturing patient feedback through customer satisfaction SMS surveys

A 2017 article Determinants of patient loyalty to healthcare providers: an integrative review published in the Internal Journal for Quality in Health Care says that patient loyalty is considered a key business success factor for organisations in the healthcare industry.  

‘…healthcare success is not only the result of good technical skills and provision of high-quality services, but also from satisfying customers and encouraging them to return to the practice. 

By sending a customer satisfaction survey to patients post-appointment via SMS, you can capture valuable feedback by asking questions like: 

  • How would you rate the quality of service you received today? 

  • Was your physician able to achieve a diagnosis and prescribe medication?  

  • Are you satisfied with the surgery wait times? 

  • Would you recommend us to a friend or colleague? 

These questions may vary depending on the type of organisation sending the SMS, from hospitals, to primary care providers and specialised medical care facilities  

2. SMS messages alerting patients to healthcare provider closure and holiday dates

Although hospitals are open for emergencies 24/7, smaller healthcare providers including general practices and specialists may need to communicate with patients regarding closure dates due to public holidays or other events.  

The fastest and easiest way to do this is to send an SMS broadcast that can notify all contacts within a matter of seconds. Although the content of the SMS will remain the same, you can customise your SMS sends with dynamic fields for first name, last name and more; allowing for a more personalised approach when sending bulk text messages. 

3. Updating patients and employees through SMS on emergencies and crisis information

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the importance of planning effective communication with patients and employees across the entire healthcare industry.  

GoFax healthcare client specialising in radiology implemented SMS with amazing results. They were able to increase attendance across all sites, personalise patient experiences and decrease loss of revenue of up to 32% within the first 90 days. 

Using SMS broadcast can keep patients and employees at all levels informed about emergencies and crisis information, like severe weather warnings, power outages and other incidents that may affect the clinic 

For large organisations like hospitals, SMS can help inform patients of emergency situations quickly and efficientlyhelping to keep them calm during critical times like emergency evacuations, lockdowns and more. 

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4. Bulk SMS sends to all patients of news and alerts

Have a new service offering? Maybe you’ve decided to open your general practice on weekends or late nights due to employing a new doctor? Any clinic news and updates can be communicated with patients and employees through an SMS broadcast.  

A 2014 FICO global survey found that 80% of people worldwide want to receive SMS from their healthcare provider. Stuart Wells, FICO’s chief product and technology officer in a FICO media release says that “the way healthcare organisations communicate with people are changing, as individuals become more and more sophisticated about using information technology to make health-related decisions.”  

A simple SMS can grow appointment bookings, reduce no-shows and increase revenue for your clinic 

5. Healthcare employee roster management via SMS broadcast

Over the last few years, healthcare providers have been moving from manual roster management systems to increasing their use of SMS to fill staffing vacancies. With a 98% open rate, sending bulk SMS messages to employees is a convenient and efficient method to fill shifts on late notice and cancel duties when necessary.  

You’ll be able to see instant replies from employees and track and manage them in real-time, reducing administration costs and time having to make individual phone calls to employees.  

Remember to stay compliant

Before engaging in SMS messaging with your patients, be sure to develop a clear policy and procedure for SMS best practices to remain compliant. This includes:  

  • Ensuring all patients have opted-in for SMS communications and that this opt-in is documented (under the Spam Act 2003) 

  • Keeping patient contact details up-to-date  

  • Limiting the information contained in SMS messages to prevent sensitive data from being accessed by unintentional recipients  

  • Documenting all SMS correspondence in the patient’s record

Get started with SMS broadcast in your healthcare organisation today

Find out how effective SMS broadcast can be used to increase communication with your patients by signing up for a free GoFax SMS trial. Have a question? Get in touch with our friendly sales team today on 1300 928 872 

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