04 Healthcare

How messaging is transforming healthcare

The bigger picture: texts are saving lives

SMS messages from healthcare providers aren’t just about convenience, they also can help improve health equity, because they’re available to patients who don’t own smartphones.

An example of improved outcomes was seen clearly in COVID Watch, a program developed by a team of researchers at Penn Medicine, delivered twice daily symptom monitoring questions to COVID-positive patients. Patients texted back and their responses were monitored by a small team of nurses. The results: a life saved every three to four days.¹

M. Kit Delgado, who co-led the study, stated “It’s crucial that we found all major racial and ethnic groups benefited because non-white and low-income communities have had disproportionately higher infection rates, lower access to care, and higher death rates. This implies that this model of care could have reduced disparities in COVID outcomes if it was scaled up more broadly to these communities.”

Cardiovascular patients were 70% more likely to refill a prescription when given text reminders²

There are myriad use cases for messaging in healthcare, including:

  • Appointment reminders
  • Prescription refill updates
  • Medication adherence reminders
  • Patient satisfaction surveys
  • Scheduling
  • Aftercare instructions
  • Health education
  • Nutrition and exercise prompts

… just to name a few

Yes, HIPAA does allow for messaging

Concerns about patient privacy used to mean you couldn’t get pertinent updates directly on your phone—you might get a notification about test results, but then you had to log into your portal to see them.

Some provider networks still operate that way for certain sensitive information, and you want to make sure patients understand what they are opting in for when they give their cell phone number. Privacy and security are still top of mind, but creating a HIPAA-safe messaging strategy is both doable and desirable.

If your customers are covered entities subject to HIPAA, make sure you work with your legal counsel and customers to understand what patients have agreed to, whether your use cases include PHI, and that you’re using a messaging provider that can give you a business associate agreement (BAA) for eligible use cases.

Patients now demand texting

Palm Beach Pediatrics, a practice based in West Palm Beach, Florida, found that “…this new generation of parents, they don’t want to fill out long forms, they don’t want to have to make phone calls, they want to text or email.“ The office uses Yosi to provide a suite of patient communication services including two-way texting which have drastically cut down on the paperwork burden for admin staff.

The new approach is also a way to serve busy, tech-native parents who find traditional paperwork and phone calls to be an added stress on top of managing ill children.

A Nimblr way to interact with patients

Nimblr is an AI tool that lets providers like mental health professionals and nutritionists communicate with patients “like a human would.” Their main product is “Holly” an AI assistant which helps schedule appointments, initiate follow-ups, and manage payments via web, phone, and email. Holly removes the workday hassle for patients by simply being available 24/7. In fact, 30% of Holly’s conversations with patients take place outside of business hours.

CEO Juan Vera said “SMS Messaging is key as the last mile communication channel with patients. It’s my favorite channel because it’s personal and direct, patients tend to stay away from in-app messages, and that’s crucial.”

And it’s not just basic SMS messages either. Vera reports that Nimblr sees huge upsides in MMS messaging: “We believe it’s super important, especially for educational content. Think about where to find the nearest parking—it’s easier to look at a simple picture with specific indications than to use Google Maps.”

“Messaging enables us to have the highest engagement rate you could have with patients.”

Juan Vera


Keeping providers in business by improving profitability

Healthcare providers are under more budgetary pressure than ever due to inflation, higher wages, staffing shortages, and shifting population density.

Let texting take the pressure off. Instead of having administrative staff tied up for hours on the phone, they’ll be able to get their essential work done and clock out on time.

Instead of losing money to no-shows, a consistent reminder system helps more patients keep their appointments.

Yosi gets providers 50% fewer no-shows and 70% less phone burden

thanks to their text-forward platform
05 Fintech

Messaging, meet money