The business case for text messaging patients is compelling. If you are engaged in messaging therapy, you should use an encrypted texting service. But for most business functions—appointments reminders, billing reminders, etc—you do not need an encrypted channel so long as you have the consent of the patient.

So what are the reasons to text?

Ubiquity of Cell Phones -Most Americans (72%) have a smart phone and 97% use their smart phone to text.

Preference -Texting is the preferred communication channel of most Americans: 76% prefer text messages to phone calls or emails. -75% of patients prefer appointment and payment reminders via text.

Convenience -Texting is quick, takes much less time than a call or email; there is no waiting on hold. -Texting doesn’t interrupt the patient’s day

Texting is more reliable, i.e. you are more likely to get through -98% of text messages are read while only 22% of emails are opened! -Response rates to texts is 209% higher than to phone calls! -91% keep their cell phones within arms reach the entire day. -19% of cell phone users never check voice mail.

In summary, use of texting in clinical practice can save money by cutting down on front office staff time on the phone while enhancing patient satisfaction.