Texting tips for various patient types

October 25, 2017
Jim Higgins
Jim Higgins

Patients are accustomed to texting in all facets of their lives and those habits carry over into their relationship with their doctor.

Texting has made the jump from being a way to connect with friends and family to also being a way to connect with businesses. Patients are accustomed to texting in all facets of their lives and those habits carry over into their relationship with their doctor.

According to Solutionreach’s 2017 Patient-Provider Relationship Study, 78% of medical practice patients say that they want to receive text messages from their medical practice. In too many cases their needs are not being met-just 28% of medical practices actually text. 

This same study found that the desire to text is true regardless of the generation. Millennials, generation X and baby boomers all want to text with their medical practice. Texting has become such a crucial component to patient satisfaction for medical practices that it can be the difference between keeping and losing a patient.

How to successfully text both grandma and grandson

Just because all generations want to text does not mean that a blanket approach to texting is desirable. As in all patient satisfaction efforts, targeting your services to appeal to a variety of demographics is important. If you are considering adding texting to your services, look for these features in order to meet the needs of patients across the generations.

Enable two-way texting

Medical practices have multiple options when it comes to texting. You can choose to only send texts, without the option for patients to respond, or you can enable two-way texting. In order to satisfy both the young and the old, the best approach is to offer both options. The 2017 Patient-Provider Relationship Study found that while baby boomers want to receive text messages (and don’t care much about texting you back), Millennials and Gen Xers are much more likely to want to shoot off a text message to you. Offering both options helps you to meet everyone’s needs.

 

Use your regular offi ce number

For some time now, medical practices have been using the five digit “spam-like” number to send text messages. It is much more personal and effective, however, to send a message from your own office number. This is especially true for baby boomers. They are much more likely to read and respond to a message when it is personalized. 

Use HIPAA compliancy tools

Baby boomers are more private when it comes to their health. While they may not be as eager to text questions regarding personal health information, the younger generations are more comfortable doing so. In conjunction with their stronger desire to text a practice, millennials are likely to want to ask personal health information-related questions via text. The right texting solution will offer tools that can help with this HIPAA compliancy issue.

When selecting a texting system, the most cost-effective way to  it is through a larger patient relationship management platform. While texting is just one element of your overall patient satisfaction plan, if properly executed, it will become a key piece of your brand and success.