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How text messaging can power year-round patient engagement

By Linnie Greene, Staff Writer at Arcadia
Patient Engagement

Outreach and engagement are some of healthcare’s most crucial hurdles, and to overcome them, a robust text messaging program proves essential

In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, patient engagement has emerged as a crucial factor in improving healthcare outcomes and promoting overall wellness. Healthcare organizations around the country are recognizing the need to cultivate long-term patient relationships, and planning year-round patient engagement campaigns has become paramount. Among the various communication channels available, text messaging is one of the most powerful tools at these groups’ disposal, enabling them to connect with patients in a timely, personalized, and engaging manner.

Here, we’ll explore why year-round engagement campaigns are a critical lever for better population health and look at best practices for building rapport with patients, highlighting the pivotal role text messaging should play in healthcare organizations’ outreach strategy.

Building strong patient relationships in healthcare

Effective patient engagement starts with building strong relationships between healthcare providers and patients. Planning year-round campaigns allows healthcare organizations to establish continuous lines of communication, fostering trust and a sense of partnership. By utilizing text messaging outreach, healthcare providers can engage patients proactively throughout the year, delivering reminders for appointments, medication adherence, and preventive care, thereby strengthening the provider-patient bond.

Why text messaging as a medium for patient outreach?

Text messaging offers a unique advantage in healthcare outreach by providing personalized and timely communication. With the ability to segment patient populations based on demographics, conditions, and preferences, healthcare organizations can tailor their messages to meet individual patient needs.

Whether it’s reminding a diabetic patient to check blood sugar levels or scheduling a preventive screening for an at-risk individual impacted by SDoH, text messages deliver targeted and actionable information directly to patients’ fingertips.

Additionally, healthcare organizations can store the data they receive in their text messaging with patients to get a better sense of their communities, gaining more perspective and detail on the challenges patients face.

Overcoming barriers to care and advancing health equity

Access to healthcare can be a significant barrier for many individuals, but text messaging helps overcome this obstacle. By delivering important information and reminders directly to patients’ mobile phones, healthcare organizations can bridge the gap between patients and the healthcare system.

Text messages are cost-effective, easily accessible, and can reach individuals who may have limited access to other communication channels. This inclusive approach improves patient engagement and facilitates timely care, reducing the likelihood of missed appointments or delayed treatments.

An effective tool for patient education

Educating patients about their health conditions, treatment plans, and strategies is crucial for empowering them to take an active role in managing their health. Year-round patient engagement campaigns facilitated by text messaging provide a platform to disseminate educational materials, such as videos, links to reliable resources, and interactive quizzes. This empowers patients with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their health, leading to better health outcomes.

Why do healthcare organizations need to engage patients year-round?

To succeed in preventive outreach, much less preventive care, consistency is key. This is particularly true in value-based care, where avoiding costly, life-threatening conditions can be the difference between success in a contract and fiscal failure.

Text messaging enables healthcare organizations to be proactive in managing patients’ health. By sending regular reminders and encouraging engagement in healthy behaviors, such as exercise, diet modification, and preventive screenings, healthcare providers can support patients in maintaining wellness and managing chronic conditions. Through the strategic planning of year-round campaigns, healthcare organizations can stay connected with patients throughout the year, minimizing the risk of lapses in care and facilitating early intervention when necessary.

One messaging platform, thousands of healthier lives

Thinking about patient engagement over a calendar year means cultivating a consistent approach to outreach, nurturing the relationships between providers and the populations you serve.

Use the graphic below to map out 365 days of timely communication, and leverage Engage to automate and streamline communication. Scale up messaging to reach a larger group, faster, and take proactive measures for better health and higher savings.