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The Healthcare industry, like most industries, is beginning to realise the benefits that SMS technology can bring in terms of reducing costs, increasing productivity and simplifying management burden.

“Presently, the most compelling benefits of SMS technology results from the ability to implement it throughout all centres of business operation,” says Rob Airey, director at SMS Cellular Services.

“Applications specific to the healthcare environment include the ability to notify patients of appointments, changes in schedules, patient numbers, medical aid approvals, communicating membership numbers to new members, etc. With SMS messaging, healthcare providers and administrators have the ability to save an estimated R1.50 per communication, when compared to the cost of making a conventional phone call. In terms of time saved, companies can expect to reduce the time taken to communicate with clients by at least 2.5 minutes per communication,” Airey explains.

“The benefits of using SMS technology also extend into the realm of debtors management, saving the healthcare administrator time and money that would normally have been spent through individualised outbound telephone calls or letter campaigns. By comparison, an SMS solution would significantly cut costs as expensive telephone calls would no longer be used as the first line of contact with members,” he says.

As an example, substituting 60000 postal or telephonic transactions per month could easily result in an annual saving of approximately R 1 000 000.

From reducing the costs of communicating with customers, to easing call centre volumes, automating alerts to technical staff and managing financial matters, SMS technology has emerged as the champion of company wide cost savings and increased efficiency for businesses the world over.

“Since SMS technology can be deployed to reduce costs, wherever communication between internal or external parties in an organisation takes place, businesses of all sizes are seeing the economic benefits

“One of the major advantages of CellSys (a product of SMS Cellular Services) is that it is easy to install and does not require high level training or support.

As CellSys is extremely adaptable, scalable and flexible, healthcare providers and administrators can implement the solution in a matter of days and immediately begin to reap the rewards.

“With compelling reasons like these, the more pertinent question should centre on why more healthcare institutions aren’t making use of this functionality, as opposed to whether or not SMS has a viable role to play in the healthcare industry,” he concludes.