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Stay in Constant Communication

Automated text messaging keeps patients engaged and satisfied with their care.

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook, Editor-in-Chief


FRIENDLY REMINDERS Patients prefer to have pre-op information sent to their cell phones and are more likely to act on

When you want to reach someone immediately, do you pick up the phone or fire off an email? No, you send a text because it's nearly guaranteed to be read and the message creates a sense of urgency for action.

"I've gotten feedback from patients who say text message alerts and updates make them feel more connected with their providers," says Tina Mentz, chief operating officer at Ambulatory Management Solutions, a consulting firm based in Chicago, Ill. "They're more satisfied with their care because they know exactly what's going on before and after surgery."

That's a significant benefit. Patient satisfaction is more important than ever in this era of value-based care and with the pending launch of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Survey (OAS CAHPS), a program designed to measure how well Medicare beneficiaries are cared for at surgery centers and HOPDs.

Medical Text

Ms. Mentz points out that electronic communication platforms send prepopulated or customized text messages to patients on a preset timeline so they receive appropriate reminders at appropriate intervals. "Sending the right reminder at the right time yields greater compliance," she says.

Getting pre-op information — such as reminders to complete online medication histories or complete required testing — to patients as soon as possible is a powerful tool, points out Ms. Mentz. "It lets you look at the patient's health history and make decisions right away about whether or not they'll be cleared for surgery," she says.

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