Engaging with their 17,500 strong patient community is a priority for the team at Radius Medical, The Palms.
So when they send a text message reminder to a mum to bring her son in for an immunisation and get a request to book an appointment back within 30 seconds they know they’re communicating effectively.
The busy Palmerston North General Practice, which operates 7 days a week offering a wide range of accident and family medical services, has been using Vensa Health’s TXT2Remind system since 2009.
General Manager Joanne Saxe says when they first made the decision to use Vensa’s system they saw it as an opportunity to better engage and communicate with patients, particularly the younger generation. “Now it’s really an expected method of communication. Patients know that they’ll receive reminders for appointments, immunisations, screenings, test results, scripts, and even a notification if their doctor is off sick.”
TXT2Remind links seamlessly with The Palms’ patient management system and allows nurses or doctors to send either individual or bulk messages.
Joanne says an added benefit was that they started to communicate more with patients as it was so easy to do so. “We can pull up recall lists, for example, and send bulk texts within minutes, rather than waiting for letters to be printed and then posting them. This immediacy combined with an easy way to keep track of a patient’s status has really added a lot of value to patients.”
Nurse Team Leader Carolyn Russell says the system allows her team to be very proactive and effectively target priority health areas such as immunisations and CVDRA checks. “It really helps our workflow as we can spend more time on looking after patients, rather than trying to chase people up with letters and calls. Doctors can also use the system to let patients know about the outcome of tests and any follow up treatment required as soon as they have the information, which stops double handling.”
Carolyn says patients are now so used to getting regular reminders via text that they remember it’s about time they got a text. “Our patients are really embracing text messaging and people are more likely to attend appointments. We can see the overall rates for things like immunisations improving. We know the key to improving the health of our community is ensuring patients attend the appointments they need at the right time – so it’s a great feeling knowing we’re being very proactive in our mission to care for our patients.”
By Sandra Lukey