Thursday, October 22, 2015

Wondering about the power of SMS text messaging? This method of communication havs been used as strategic marketing techniques for years now, bringing success to many businesses. It’s currently bringing patients into doctor’s offices as well, and helping to keep our population up to date on vaccines.

Physicians and those who work in the medical community are embracing the power of texting to gain more clients, which is a good thing. But communities at large are also benefitting from SMS technology when members stay healthier and learn how to contribute to good public health.

Let’s take a look at how tech and health are coming together in today’s world.

Increased Vaccination Rates

Researchers conducted a study to see whether two-way SMS service could increase the rates of vaccination and well-child care, while also being cost effective. The study focused on 4,500 adolescents. It randomly placed 2,228 children in an intervention group and 2,359 in a control group. The intervention group’s parents received up to three personalized SMS messages with one of three response options: the parent should call the clinic to schedule, the clinic will call the parent to schedule, or stop the SMS messages.

Results showed that parents of kids in the intervention group were more likely to complete recommended services, optional vaccinations, and the required set of vaccinations for the patient’s age group. Missed opportunities occurred in 69 percent of parents in the intervention group, compared to 75 percent of parents in the control group. The net cost of the SMS service was $855 to $3,394 per physician office. At this low cost, researchers concluded that the two-way SMS service improved vaccination rates for adolescents at a price that was tolerable. The most popular response from parents in the intervention group was wanting a scheduled call from the practice.

The intervention group included only adolescents needing suggested adolescent vaccines with parents who had cell phone numbers listed with the practice. Additionally, they were patients of one of five private and two safety-net pediatric practices. Parents of these kids received up to three personalized SMS messages, and one of the options was to complete all needed services. Other options given to parents were to come in for a well-child care visit only and to come by for any recommended vaccination.

The Results

This study showed that parents who received intervention via text or SMS service were more likely to complete all or some of the needed vaccination services. There was not a significant difference in the booking of suggested well-child visits.

The power of sending SMS text messages to customers is seen clearly when we tap into the business of people’s lives. Can we take these findings and apply them to other fields? Perhaps. As long as an individual has given permission to be contacted through text or SMS service, he seems to appreciate the follow-up for important recommended services.

If you’re wondering how your business might benefit from bio-directional text messaging, read the latest articles on SMS technology!