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    Five ways technology can increase patient compliance

     

    E-mail and text notifications

    E-mail and text notifications are also terrific tools to increase patient engagement, serving as reminders for appointments and communicating with doctors, Ambres says. Texting is best for urgent communications, since e-mails can get buried in an inbox or get lost in a spam folder.

    WendlingWendlingAt Geisinger, text messaging is popular with patients, as it’s very easy for them to quickly. In fact, more than 290,000 existing patients receive appointment reminders via text, and can confirm or cancel them, says Chanin Wendling, MBA, director, Geisinger in Motion.

    Which text messages are sent is based on a patient’s age, gender, and health conditions, says Wendling. For example, there is a text message program to help diabetes patients manage their condition and weight, and a similar program to help gastrointestinal disease patients manage their weight. Thus far, participants in the gastro-intestinal program have lost an average of .5 body-mass-index more than nonparticipants, says Wendling. Patients also get healthcare reminders for preventive care, such as scheduling mammograms and colonoscopies and pediatric wellness checks, and getting their blood pressure and cholesterol checked.

    Girgis says text notifications are much more effective than phone call reminders, as patients often don’t answer their phones or don’t always hear messages. “But patients are more likely to see e-mail and text notifications, and they become stored records,” says Girgis, adding that it’s important to ensure text messages are secure and encrypted.

    Next: Remote monitoring devices

     

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