Telehealth: Beyond the Virtual Visit
The shift toward telehealth has been slowly underway for years, however the COVID-19 pandemic has expedited this transition significantly. The overwhelming sense of urgency to transition to virtual care required many organizations to adopt and scale telehealth solutions quickly. While virtual point of service is a critical component of telehealth, texting offers remote connections that extend beyond the point of care.
Mobile communication tactics including texting can complement telehealth visits by enhancing pre- and post-visit care navigation, supporting medication adherence, and reinforcing behavior change to improve health outcomes.
Texting complements and advances the patient telehealth journey by:
Advancing telehealth adoption
Reaching patients that do not leverage the EHR portal
Improving service navigation, including remote and new processes
Driving care compliance
Providing real-time updates
Guiding patients to relevant services and resources
Enhancing health literacy
Texting is an especially powerful tool for reaching populations that are underserved by healthcare or technology. Unlike some health innovations that can deepen health disparities due to the digital divide, texting offers an accessible channel for all populations. The power of texting stems from the ubiquity of cellphones as 96% of Americans own a cell phone, while only 81% of adults own smartphones and 73% have home broadband (Pew Research, 2019). Fortunately, a patient does not need a smartphone or broadband to utilize SMS.
Tailored mobile patient communication can enhance telehealth adoption and improve health outcomes. Complement your telehealth solution with mobile engagement strategy and outreach.