Mike Coughlan2024-04-09

SMS in Healthcare: The future of communications and beyond

The landscape of healthcare is evolving rapidly, and the fusion of SMS mobile messaging, automation, and chatbot technology is revolutionising the way the industry and businesses within operate, communicate, and deliver care. Mobile messaging, in particular, has become the cornerstone of communication in today's fast-paced world. With the majority of individuals owning smartphones, leveraging mobile messaging platforms has become essential for healthcare providers to engage with service users and families effectively.

So what is mobile messaging?

It encompasses a wide array of communication channels, from traditional SMS to popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. These ‘channels’ offer a direct and instantaneous means of reaching patients, caregivers, and even healthcare professionals. Whether it's sending appointment reminders, delivering test results, or delivering staffing notifications, mobile messaging has emerged as a powerful tool in the healthcare sector.

Moreover, the personalised nature of mobile messaging resonates deeply with service users, fostering better engagement and adherence to treatment plans. Unlike emails or phone calls, which can easily get lost or overlooked, messages sent via mobile devices are more likely to be seen and responded to promptly. This real-time communication facilitates smoother coordination between service users and providers, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes.

Improving efficiency with automation in healthcare communications

In addition to its role in patient engagement, mobile messaging also enhances operational efficiency within healthcare organisations. By automating routine communications, such as appointment scheduling and prescription refill reminders, staff members can focus their time and energy on more complex tasks. This streamlining of processes not only saves time and resources but also ensures a higher standard of care for service users.

On top of this, we can even combine chatbot technology that allows the message recipient to respond either through quick-to-click buttons or by free typing. Perhaps this could be a family member responding to a question asked by a caregiver, or feedback given as a result of a survey.

Recent changes surrounding Martha’s Law is also encouraging the use of chatbot technology. Through the use of QR codes that link directly to a WhatsApp chatbot, family members are able to receive and respond to important information about their loved ones. The Alder Hay NHS Foundation Trust is pioneering this process and valuing the rewards it will provide to both staff and service users.

Chatbots don’t just stop there…

As technology continues to advance, the integration of automation and chatbot technology further augments the capabilities of mobile messaging in healthcare. It’s worth noting that chatbot technology goes beyond an automated two-way conversation. It can be a way to trigger notifications, collect data and even respond to inbound queries. By harnessing artificial intelligence and natural language processing, these chatbots provide personalised assistance round-the-clock, enhancing the overall service user experience while reducing the burden on administrative staff.

And it’s a cost-conscious solution!

Don’t be daunted by the presumed cost of new technology. The time and resources saved with the implementation of such technologies far outweigh the associated costs that come into play. Technology is designed to be scalable and at LINK we have specialists on hand to provide as much or as little support as you may require, making sure you don’t struggle to obtain internal resources to support your projects.

In summary, mobile messaging has emerged as a vital tool in modern healthcare, facilitating seamless communication, improving patient engagement, and enhancing operational efficiency. As the healthcare industry continues to embrace digital transformation, the synergy between mobile messaging, automation, and chatbot technology will play an increasingly pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare delivery.

Want to learn more?

If you are looking to learn more or request a demo of the solution in action, get in touch with our team. We will be more than happy to help!