A Utah hospital is leveraging text messaging to help schedule mammogram appointments for thousands of its patients.
Since April 2019, the hospital has used the Dialog Health platform to send mammogram recall reminder text messages to more than 12,000 patients. The two-way texts have been successfully delivered to about 96% of recipients.
The text messages inform patients that it is time to schedule their annual mammograms and provide the mammography department's phone number for patients to call to schedule the appointments. Initiating the call only requires patients to click the number in the text.
"Thanks to text messaging, hospital staff have spent significantly less time making phone calls and sending letters to mammography patients," says Brandon Daniell, president and co-founder of Dialog Health. "More importantly, thousands of patients have been reminded about the need to schedule their mammograms and provided a simple, efficient way to make their appointments."
Recall programs that inform patients when it's time to get their annual mammogram are an effective method of increasing patient compliance with guidelines. Such programs can also help drive patient volume to a mammography department.
Since 96% of all U.S. adults own cell phones that can receive text messages, and consumers are generally accustomed to receiving and interacting with texts, two-way texting is a communication resource that can be an immediate asset to any organization looking to enhance the performance of a recall program.
As of January 2020, only 29 recipients of the Utah hospital's mammogram recall reminder texts had opted out of receiving texts from the hospital — well below 1% of all recipients. This further demonstrates the willingness of consumers to communicate via text message with trusted organizations.
"By embracing the speed, convenience, and ubiquity of texting, healthcare providers can increase patient engagement and participation in their care, which benefits patients, staff, practitioners, and the healthcare system as a whole," Daniell says.