By Cristina Dafonte | Mar. 14, 2017

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Patients and providers alike recognize that technology is changing and shaping the way healthcare is perceived. More patients are actively involved with new technologies like health specific apps and wearables. Providers are working hard to create a more personalized experience using electronic health records and patient portals.

But in this world of growing, evolving, and adapting, has basic patient communication been overlooked? Missed appointments still cost the United States’ healthcare system more than $150 billion per year, pointing to a clear disconnect between patient communication expectations and reality.

This disconnect may not lie with physicians – they want new and improved technologies just as much as the patient (check out an infographic proving this here). In this rare instance, the fault falls on the technology. Many patient communication solutions fall short of what the consumer wants or expects.

The healthcare consumer craves a fluid and convenient communication experience: book an appointment online and receive a confirmation email; a week later, hear a personalized phone call reminding them of their appointment; the day before the appointment, receive a text with confirmation options. Even after the appointment, the patient still expects communication for preventative care notifications and follow-up surveys.

To accommodate this type of experience for patients, providers are investing in text message strategies – in fact, many are starting to see the benefits of mass text messaging. Text messages have a 98 percent open rate, while email alone only has a 20 percent open rate. It’s clear that patient communication technology is evolving, but there appears to be some room for improvement when it comes to text message solutions and reaching patients instantly on their devices.

Stericycle Communication Solutions’ automated patient communication platform is ahead of the game. Our solution offers amenities beyond simple text message appointment reminders. With automated email, voice, and text reminders, we reach your patients through every outlet, decreasing no shows while increasing patient satisfaction. When you layer on our message broadcasting tool and preventative care abilities, we not only help engage your patients, we help keep them in your system.

Learn more about how Stericycle Communication Solutions can help engage and retain your patients here.

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Author: Cristina Dafonte

Cristina is a Marketing Associate at Stericycle Communication Solutions. She currently supports our automated patient communication tool, but has experience with both telephone answering services and online self-scheduling. She graduated from Vanderbilt University and resides in Nashville, TN, but dreams of someday living near the beach.

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