A little encouragement can go a long way. It’s cliché, sure, but it is also fact according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medial Association.
The JAMA study included 700 people with heart disease. Half the group received four text messages per week that were customized to its specific needs such as reminders to take a daily walk, tips to quit smoking, and dietary guidelines that reduced consumption of fried and fatty foods. The other half received normal care for their specific conditions without any text messages or other reminders.
At the end of the experiment, the patients who received the texts had lowered their cholesterol and blood pressure levels more than the other group. They also lost more weight and showed higher compliance rates with exercise programs and quitting smoking than the patients who did not receive the texts.
Can this practice be extended to physical therapy patients? It sure can!
There are various methods for sending quick reminders to patients. Whichever method you choose, be sure all communications are secured by HIPAA-level protections first and foremost.
Another consideration is effectiveness of the message delivery. If possible, send your notifications directly to a patient’s smartphone with as opposed to an email address that a patient might not check everyday.
It would also be ideal for the reminders to be part of a bi-directional conversation (patient to therapist, therapist to patient) and captured in a record that can be reviewed at anytime.
If you’re looking for such a solution, Physical Therapy In Hand includes a messaging center that enables secure text messages to be traded between a therapist’s laptop or tablet directly to the In Hand Health mobile app on a patient’s smartphone.
In addition to simple text messages, voice clips, videos, and photos can also be shared in case communications need to extend beyond simple encouraging messages. In the very near future, Physical Therapy In Hand will also include the ability to send notifications that surface immediately on a patient’s smartphone.
Interested in trying it out? Visit www.inhandhealth.com and sign up to use Physical Therapy In Hand for free.