Let’s say you go to the doctor’s, and once your visit is over, you need to schedule a follow up visit. Do you think if you received a text message explaining why you need a follow-up visit, you would be more likely to return? Well, according to a new study, a little health literacy in a text message reminder went a long way in getting patients back in for their second visit!
A recent study randomly assigned 660 patients to three different groups. One group received a text message with the message to come back for their second dose of flu shot. It also included the hours of the clinic. The second group received a text message telling them to come back for their second dose of the shot, but it also included health literacy information promoting the flu vaccine. The 3rd group received a hand written reminder with the date and time they needed to go back to the doctors. The doctor’s found 72% of the people that received a text message with health information came back for their second dose, compared to 66% who received just a text, and 57% of those who had a hand written note.
What does it all mean?
This study showed that when you give patients educational information they are more likely to respond than if you just give them an order. They are more likely to adhere when they know the actual reasons why they need to make a second appointment. Also, with phones being so vital to all of our daily lives these days, it makes sense that a text reminder would be more useful than a written reminder. It is always important to remember your target audience as well as the nature of the information you are reporting to your target audience. Everyone understands information differently.