Businesses have developed multiple marketing strategies over time to bring their A game in customer service. As we progress to the digital times, health care providers have developed ways to keep a relationship with their patients as well. Now, if you’re wondering why you keep getting those patient appointment reminders, read on.
1#) First things first
If you’re still new to the concept of health care information system and electronic medical records (EMR) or concerned by the text messages you receive from your healthcare provider, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provided a set of guidelines on who has access to your protected health information (PHI) and how they are being utilized and protected under the Privacy Rule. Whereas, the PHI is defined as all “individually identifiable health information” held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral.
Other than your health care provider as one of the covered entities, access to your PHI may also be granted to your representative with your authorization. This does not, however, entitle your health care provider to transfer and/or disclose your records to another provider nor health plan.
2#) Benefits of text messaging in health care
As much as you would like to receive three-day sale text messages from your favorite stores, you should be just as excited in receiving a patient appointment reminder in a form of text messages. It is a systematic approach, which can save time and effort for both the patient and the physician by promoting efficient communication. Think of this as their way to improve patient relations, as this type of reminder allows a two-way communication that you can also use to your advantage should you have any concerns.
Statistics show that 21.7% of the population are aged 65 years and over who have fair to poor health conditions are not institutionalized and 7% are in need of health care. More often than not, we also become dependent as we age. It is for this reason that health care providers see to it that they can provide convenience to their patients through their services, which can be as simple as text message reminders, especially for those with old age who are barely tech-savvy.
3#) It gets better
A study has shown that the use of text messaging and voicemail has improved insulin management among patients with low socioeconomic status.
Your PHI and EMRs, despite being stored in a system that your healthcare provider can use, is still well-protected under the HIPAA privacy rule and is not the kind of information made available for everyone to see nor manipulate. These data are useful tools that can improve not only patient relations but the quality of life as well.
The world as we know it is ever-changing and there are some who cannot quickly adapt, so a text message can go a long way in the healthcare industry and its consumers.