Patients Prefer Texting: Use It To Increase Patient Loyalty
- Patients prefer texting with their healthcare providers over email, phone calls, or paper mail.
- Communicating through your patients’ preferred method increases patient loyalty and satisfaction.
- Using an automated patient communication tool like CT Engage allows you to send texts — and email to patients who prefer it — while remaining HIPAA-compliant.
To increase patient loyalty and grow your chiropractic practice, you need to engage in direct, personal communication with your patients. Recent surveys find that patients overwhelmingly prefer texts to other forms of communication. Embracing the forms of communication preferred by your patients is crucial to the success of your practice.
CT Engage, the automated patient communication tool from ChiroTouch, lets you both text and email patients to increase patient loyalty, maintain HIPAA compliance, and boost your business.
Preferred Patient Communication Methods
In the past, chiropractors communicated with their patients through phone calls, letters, and appointment reminder postcards. However, patients are now expressing a preference for digital communication with their healthcare providers, and texting is clearly their preferred method.
In a survey back in 2016, patients were already expressing a preference for communication by text messaging. Since the advent of COVID, however, that preference has skyrocketed.
According to a 2021 survey, more than 98% of patients liked receiving healthcare notifications by text, and 85% said they preferred them to email, phone calls, or patient portal messages. The study found that patients reported high satisfaction and ease of use with texting.
Access is also an issue for some patients. While most patients may have access to computers and smartphones with internet and email capabilities, low-income patients may not. However, 86% of patients own cell phones that can send and receive text messages. Texting with these patients works where email won’t, and it’s far more convenient than the U.S. mail alternative.
Why Use Text and Email to Communicate With Patients?
Communicating with patients through digital means like text and email is convenient and comfortable. It is patient-focused and makes connecting with you, their chiropractic care provider, more rewarding and straightforward.
Accessible and Convenient
Texting and emailing are accessible to a wide swath of patients, as 97% of people in the United States own a cell phone and 85% own a smartphone with internet and email access. By communicating through convenient digital methods that people can easily access on their handheld devices, you can strengthen patient loyalty.
Digital communication with patients is practical. The purpose of patient communication is to deliver critical information, schedule appointments, and provide feedback on their treatment procedures and concerns. Because texting and emailing are convenient and accessible, these messages are received and responded to quickly and with little effort on your part or theirs.
Communicating through automated texts and emails reduces your practice’s operating expenses. With automated patient communication tools, you save money on printing and mailing materials. Digital communication also saves on the staff resources required to put mailings together or play phone tag with patients.
Increases Patient Loyalty and Retention
Patients who feel they can easily communicate with you regarding their chiropractic care are more likely to become loyal patients and recommend you to others. Developing reliable, two-way communication with patients increases their familiarity with your practice’s brand and promotes positive doctor-patient interactions.
These results lead to improved satisfaction, loyalty, and retention, all of which translate to increased revenue. A 5% increase in patient retention can boost practice profitability by 75%.
Meeting HIPAA Guidelines With Text and Email Communications
HIPAA compliance is essential when using both text and email to communicate with patients. Because digital communication may feel more comfortable and less formal to patients, concerns may arise regarding HIPAA compliance while meeting your patients’ needs.
All healthcare providers must abide by the rules outlined in the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). A few of the major guidelines include:
- Limiting the release of patient health information (PHI) to authorized users
- Verifying authorized users with thorough authentication factors
- Using encryption for data transmitted outside the internal firewall
- Sending PHI through secure messaging solutions (SMS)
- Sending PHI through encrypted email channels
Failure to enact proper security measures when texting and emailing patients can violate HIPAA regulations. This can cost your practice thousands of dollars in fines or jail time for each violation.
It is vital that when communicating with patients through digital means that you use a messaging system that meets the stringent HIPAA guidelines.
How CT Engage Helps You Increase Patient Loyalty
CT Engage is an automated patient communication tool that enables you to text and email patients at the touch of a button.
Working seamlessly from within ChiroTouch, CT Engage can help you increase patient loyalty with features like automated appointment reminders, two-way and broadcast texting, email campaigns, recall campaigns, and online reputation management.
The average practice loses over $3,200 in revenue each month due to no-shows. CT Engage gives you the ability to send automated appointment reminders to patients. When sent through SMS texts, reminders boast a successful contact rate of 99%. This reduces your no-call, no-show rate and keeps your appointment slots full.
Fifty percent of healthcare practitioners achieve a decrease in missed appointments and last-minute cancellations by using patient reminders.
CT Engage allows you to send two-way SMS texts to answer patient questions or clarify treatments. You can also send broadcast texts to your entire patient list or to select groups.
Texting with CT Engage is HIPAA compliant, allowing you to securely send and receive patients’ protected health information. CT Engage takes the stress out of direct digital communication for both you and your patients.
Email campaigns help increase patient loyalty by conveniently sending patients important information. You can send long-form educational material about procedures and the efficacy of chiropractic care to improve patient trust in your practice. Or use it to notify patients of practice policy or insurance changes or even to announce the publication of a new blog post.
With CT Engage’s recall campaigns, you can reach out to inactive patients, encouraging them to return to the practice. By showing that you care about their health progress and checking back in with them, you can turn them into loyal patients again.
Online Reputation Management
Many people rely on online reviews when choosing a healthcare provider, and 69% of patients won’t consider using a healthcare provider with less than a 4-star rating.
With CT Engage, patients are routed to the review profile post-visit. This allows your patients to easily reply and tell others about their excellent care. It also gives you an opportunity to learn about and respond to areas where your practice can improve before patient complaints on social media damage your reputation.
Increase Patient Loyalty With CT Engage
Patients prefer to communicate with their healthcare providers digitally. Text and email allow for quick, convenient communication that makes patients feel cared for, thus increasing their loyalty to your practice.
CT Engage, ChiroTouch’s advanced patient communication tool package, lets you communicate with your patients in the way they prefer while keeping their personal information secure.
Contact us today to schedule a demo of ChiroTouch, the cloud standard in chiropractic EHR software, to discover how ChiroTouch and CT Engage can help you increase patient loyalty and grow your practice.