According to a recent statistic, 80% of North America’s total population uses text messaging. Based on how widely this form of communication is used, it only makes sense that many companies use text messaging as a way to connect to consumers. Similarly, medical practices have seen the benefits of incorporating texts into their patient workflow — and if done correctly, text messages for doctors are a great asset.
However, many practices use text messaging in ways that are productivity killers. While some doctors think that 2-way SMS messaging will help practices connect better to their patients than automated messaging, this isn’t exactly the case. Here are 3 huge reasons that text messaging should be automated instead!
Patients Use 2-way Messaging Incorrectly
Oftentimes, patients do not understand what types of text messages are considered important to a clinic’s front desk. A quick text about being five minutes late to an appointment is usually more hindering than helpful for a busy practice. Moreover, patients frequently use 2-way messaging for medical advice rather than its intended purpose. In no time, practices become inundated with questions like “does my foot sound like it’s broken?” when they adopt 2-way messaging. This isn’t the right avenue to address such concerns, and patients would be better off going to an urgent care in situations like these.
Responding to 2-way Messaging Becomes a Full-time Job
The more times patients misuse 2-way messaging, the more daunting it becomes for front desk staff to keep up with answering each text message appropriately. In fact, certain clinics have reported that they receive so many text messages that they’ve needed to hire additional staff to keep up with them! While patient communication shouldn’t be discouraged, when a certain mode of communication becomes a full-time job, then it’s a costly option for any practice that should be reconsidered.
Automated Messaging Eliminates Human Error
When front desk staff are required to respond to every patient inquiry or comment in a timely fashion, this opens the door for mistakes. In a busy practice, a burnt-out staff member is bound to forget to reply or hastily give misinformation at some point. Once this happens, it has the potential to cause dissatisfaction in the patient, which could lead to damaging online reviews, the patient going elsewhere next time, or both. Automated messaging, on the other hand, is designed to be accurate and responsive for patients each and every time.
Automated Text Messages for Doctors Done Right
In order to prevent the problems 2-way messaging causes for practices, DocResponse’s automated SMS messaging is a perfect solution for everything from helpful appointment reminders to virtual waiting room queues. This choice for automation partially stems from the frustrations DocResponse’s founders — who are physicians — experienced using 2-way messaging in clinics themselves.
While more back-and-forth communication with patients seems like the better option to many providers initially, automated messaging empowers clinics to work smarter, not harder. Schedule a demo today to learn more about how DocResponse’s automated software is the way to go!