Commentary

Texting Doctor...

I think we all would agree that texting is quick, simple, and convenient. So, why wouldn't doctors take advantage of its popularity?

Medical advice and reminders can now be sent to you through a text message. For instance, doctors can send medical alerts to remind you to take your medication or update you on important medical information. The birth control Yaz, is taking advantage of this by allowing patients to sign up on their website to be sent text messages that remind them when to take their medicine.

I think messages like this are a great idea. They're discreet, simple and fast. It's not a hastle to retrieve the short message and it gives you important information quickly. If my doctor offered me the option to receive updates and information from him through text messages, I would sign up for it. And with everyone's seemingly hectic schedules, we could always use reminders every now and then. Especially when they are messages telling us to stop and take care of ourselves.

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Also, I could see it being a more comfortable form of communication between doctors and their patients. Sometimes there are those questions that are just hard to ask, but need answers, this would be a great way for us to communicate easily with our doctors and with little or no embarrassment.

Overall, I am all for this, just as long as the messages are not excessive and these messages are sent during reasonable hours of the day. Other than that, remind/update me...please!

3 comments about "Texting Doctor...".
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  1. Kelly Ann, January 28, 2008 at 1:09 p.m.

    Brian I haven't personally been offered this type of program or seen it offered in local doctor/dentist offices. Then again, I haven't been to a medical appointment in some time...I need to get on that.

  2. Heather Perram Frank, February 4, 2008 at 1:06 p.m.

    One of the big problems with this method of communicating with patients is that it's not compliant with HIPAA, the federal act that requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers. The security of patient information deters most doctors from using SMS -- or even e-mail -- to communicate with patients.

    There is a proprietary system on the market from a company called MaxMD, but I don't think it's widely adapted. As the editor of a consumer-oriented health information site, I would like to know more about this issue.

  3. Patrick Walshe from walsheworks inc, February 4, 2008 at 2:39 p.m.

    Vodaphone UK has issued a very detailed whitepaper on mobile utilization and applications in the healthcare industry. Details significant, measurable improvement in operational efficiency and customer care in both public and private practices.
    Most hospitals and medical practices use standard software products which can very easily be adapted to include a mobile component . Am surprised by lack of uptake of mobile across many industries, but then, demand drives supply.

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