Using Text Messages (SMS) to Improve Study Management

Staying connected with patients is critical to the success of any study, and without them, studies would ceases to exist. For this reason, it is critical for research organizations of all sizes to effectively communicate with each patient that is enrolled in a study. One way to ensure regular, clear and effective communication with patients is though text message alerts from your CTMS, also known as SMS alerts. These short reminders are a great way to make sure that patients are reminded of each upcoming visit. Let’s start by taking a look at a few ways that using text message reminders can improve your overall organization and study execution.

Fewer Missed Visits

A CTMS that offers text messaging capability is a must have for research organizations of all shapes and sizes. As study’s progress, patients can quickly be reminded of upcoming visits based on the already scheduled appointments in the CTMS. The simplest and most straightforward benefit of using text message reminders from you CTMS is that it results in fewer missed visits by patients. Fewer missed visits helps your organization to keep studies on track and patients within the appropriate visit windows. It also saves time spent rescheduling patients who missed appointments.

Higher Patient Retention Rates

Using a CTMS with text message capability also helps to improve patient retention rates. If patients miss too many visits there is a higher probability the visits will never be rescheduled and they will end up dropping out of the study. By ensuring that patients are regularly reminded about the study, they will become more invested in its outcome and feel as though they are part of something important.

Cost Effectiveness

A third benefit of using text message reminders for your appointments is its relatively low cost when compared to manual telephone calls or physically mailed communication. Manually calling patients can take up hours of staff time and there is a limit on the number of calls that can be made within a given period of time. Printing and postage costs for physical appointment reminders is also substantially higher than text messaging costs.

Delivery Speed

Finally, nothing beats the delivery speed of text message reminders. The speed at which they can be delivered allows research organizations more flexibility as to when they send reminders. For example, research organizations can send reminders earlier to the appointment date, reducing the potential for patients to forget about the reminder. The speed also allows for patients to reschedule appointments, if necessary, sooner rather than later, allowing for patients to stay within the visit windows.