The healthcare market is one ripe with opportunity when it comes to using technology to better engage patients. While it may have taken a while for medical records to become electronic-based, now we’re seeing some really innovative solutions in how pharmacies and medical providers use technology.
Mobile communication is one such area. At Vibes, we’ve worked with several companies in this space to connect with customers beyond the doctor’s office or pharmacy. Here are just a few examples of what we’ve seen pharmacies and healthcare providers offer in terms of communicating with their patients.
1. Send Reminders via SMS or Mobile Wallet
There are so many opportunities to provide value through reminders, through both SMS and mobile wallet. Healthcare brands can send digital reminders of:
Time to refill prescription
Time to schedule appointment
SMS is the more commonly used of the two mobile platforms, since even non-smartphones have text access. Patients should be able to conduct simple transactions directly from their texts. For example, if a patient has received a text telling her that it’s time to refill her prescription, as long as she’s been approved by her doctor, she can simply text ‘REFILL’ back to have her local pharmacy prepare her next refill.
SMS can also be useful for patients who need to take a prescription regularly. A quick ping and “Quick reminder! Time to take your pill. Don’t forget to eat with it” can be extremely helpful to patients. You can also include helpful health tips as a value-add on these texts.
Mobile wallet can offer enhanced features for the reminder communication. The appointment reminder, for example, can be sent as a push notification, and the patient can open the wallet card to get directions to the medical office or a link to any form she needs to fill out before her visit.
2. Deliver Automated Updates on Results
With medical records available online now, nurses no longer need to call a patient to tell her the results of medical tests. A push notification that results are ready spurs a patient to open her mobile wallet, click the secure link, and log in to view those results. Everything is encrypted, so her privacy remains priority.
3. Stay Compliant without Worries via Mobile
It’s an understandable concern in this industry: compliance. With HIPAA and privacy policies getting so much attention, it’s important to work with a mobile messaging company that ensures your patients’ sensitive data stays safe.
Vibes has a team that manages compliance, and who ensures that any sensitive information is encrypted.
4. Provide Wait Times
When you have a medical emergency, the last thing you want to do is sit in the ER for eight hours. A valuable service for patients is to offer them the ability to text a shortcode to get ER wait times in real time.
Maybe you advertise “text ERWAIT to 34553 to find out current wait times in the ER,” and when patients do this via SMS, they arrive on a mobile landing page that has the current wait time as well as other useful hospital information (directions, intake procedure, insurance accepted, etc.). You can even provide links to forms to fill out ahead of time, thereby cutting down that wait time even more.
These are just a few examples of how pharmacies and healthcare providers can enhance a patient’s experience as well as save time. When you cut down on the necessity of calling to, for example, approve a refill or check the wait time, your staff can be more productive at serving patients.