Reaching transient patients with digital messaging

How care teams can account for populations living without permanent addresses

By:

Laura Beier

Published:

January 20, 2023

In a country where nearly half a million people are living out of permanent residence, it’s critical to figure out ways to provide care and communicate. Tools like patient texting can assist in informing houseless populations what care is available and provide a mobile channel for appointment updates, test results, and more.

Accessible care 

Healthcare is something that everyone deserves and should be able to access. But sometimes it can be difficult to reach populations when you can’t send mailers to a permanent address to inform of upcoming changes such as insurance policies.

One option to increase access to care that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic is telehealth visits. While this has proven to drive patient engagement and allow patients to interact with care providers online, it’s something that may not be totally available to someone without a laptop or home computer. 

Something many people do have, even if currently houseless or in between residences, is a smartphone. In fact, 97% of Americans have a cell phone of some kind, with 85% owning a smartphone. 

Patient texting allows care teams to reach patients living outside of a permanent home, removing a barrier to care and allowing for simpler access to get questions answered, get information about the patient, and schedule appointments.

General patient population management

Text messaging systems in healthcare don’t just help the patients—they’re a helpful tool for affordable care organizations (ACOs) too. Think about population management and all of the work that goes into gathering information, such as demographics, about the population in need of care.

While normally conducted through mailers, phone calls, or in-person appointments, these processes can be time-consuming for ACOs and costly. Not to mention the inability to collect information with these methods for patients living without a permanent address—who need to be considered for infection rates and health census information to be accurate.

With frictionless communication through patient texting, care teams can reach transient patients seeking care, and gather the necessary information for population management.

Bridging gaps with patient texting

When considering how to reach patients that are living without a permanent address and accounting for transient populations in healthcare, patient texting is a must. Not only can it help remove barriers to care and create easier lines of access, but it can also help ACOs better keep track of who is in their network and looking for care.

This is just a snapshot of how transient patients can be taken care of via patient texting. Learn more about top patient messaging solutions or schedule a conversation with our team today!

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