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The “Four-T’s” of Effective Patient Messaging (Part 1): Timing

The “Four-T’s” of Effective Patient Messaging (Part 1): Timing

Not surprisingly, there is near universal agreement that patient decision-making is more “key” than ever to managing health costs, and in an age of high-deductibles where patients have more “first-dollar” exposure than ever, they have incentive to be thoughtful about care choices. Good decision-making requires information…thus patient messaging has become a “table-stakes” component to cost and quality management efforts.

But is firing messages off to the member enough?  In a word…no.  Capitalizing on an opportunity to guide a patient toward a decision regarding their care requires strategy.  That strategy should rely on what we call the “Four-T’s” of Effective Messaging:

This post talks about Timing –  the first “T” –  and we’ll address the others in upcoming blog posts.

Many legacy health plan messaging engines take weeks (even months) to churn out a targeted patient message.  Whether the message is about a refill reminder, a prompt to schedule a procedure or exam, or a suggestion regarding a current medication therapy, the closer a messaging program can get to the optimal decision-making moment for that patient, the more successful that program will be.  Well-timed messages are viewed as more personal, and more relevant by the patient.  Poorly timed messages erode credibility and trust –  which no messaging program can afford.

Message timing is like a good photograph.  It’s all about capturing the moment.  A blunt messaging tool does not offer this level of patient communication.  However, if a platform can leverage pinpoint timing to take advantage of messaging opportunities, we can do much more with messaging than just send flu reminders.  For example:

Great opportunities to be sure…but these are opportunities that require the ability to time messages, often within 24-48 hours of an event or circumstance.  Can your messaging platform do that?  Ours can…please contact us to learn more!