1. MASS AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ON HEALTH ISSUES:
At times when there is a widespread epidemic that is health threatening, the health sector can sponsor a mass education or campaign about this. Bulk SMS is a very effective means of doing this as many persons would be reached in a short time. An example was the Africa against Ebola SMS campaign some months ago which proved to be a success. It can help inform the general public of the issue and give them ways of how to stay safe.
The health sector can equally use bulk SMS in communicating job vacancies and organizing trainings and interviews for new staffs. For example, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) currently send invites for interviews through SMS. Employment offers are equally forwarded through this means.
3. COMUNICATING HEALTH AND DIET TIPS:
Some health care providers send daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly health tips to people. Most times the recipients of such messages have to subscribe for those tips that are received. Some of these tips sometimes come from the recipients’ personal health care providers. This can go a long way in improving the well being of the recipients.
4. INTIMATING MEMBERS OF ASSOCIATION OF NEW DEVELOPMENT:
Health care sectors usually have associations where all doctors belong. In cases where a research has been done on a particular subject and new findings have evolved, bulk SMS can be used to communicate these with the members of the sector. Also, if there are areas where further findings are needed, they can also be informed of this via SMS.
5. COMMUNICATION WITH PATIENTS ABOUT APPOINTMENTS AND OTHER NOTIFICATIONS:
It is not uncommon today to hear of patients missing doctor’s appointments. Bulk SMS can be used to remind patients of this and limit the instance of missed appointments. In cases where an appointment also has to be cancelled for one reason or the other, a text message can suffice as the way of communicating with the patient. Test results notification can be pushed out through bulk SMS to patients. Even patients can send queries for different information about their health to the clinics, hospitals or pharmacy of their choice and get a prompt response. In fact there are numerous communications that can transpire between a health care provider and his patient and bulk SMS can make this easier and faster.
6. INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS:
Bulk SMS has been proven to be very effective for internal communications and for good reasons. Part of the ways health care providers can use bulk SMS for internal communication with staffs is in intimating them of shift schedules, sending payment alerts to staffs and letting them know of cases of emergencies. Bulk SMS can be a very effective way of organizing health staffs and getting the best from them.
7. REMINDERS OF CHILD IMMUNIZATION TO PARENTS:
Once in a while the health sector organizes immunization campaigns for children towards ensuring good health care status for them. During such awareness, the health care providers can use bulk SMS to remind parents of the importance of such immunization campaigns and push out deadline dates for the campaigns in order for parents who are yet to immunize their kids to do that promptly.
8. MOBILE AUTHENTIFICATION SERVICES:
NAFDAC has set the pace in this regard in Nigeria, with the advent of the mobile autentification service in the year 2010. This is a major use of bulk SMS because the codes on the drugs are send to a short code and responses are received back on the phone. Many health care departments can also think of using bulk SMS in this regard.
9. PUSHING OUT MEDICINE AND PRESCRIPTION REMINDERS:
Doctors can use bulk SMS for forwarding reminders of prescription and usage of medicine to their patients. This ensures they use the right medicine they are supposed to used and at the right time. There can equally be a response provision whereby if the patients have to change their drugs they do not have to come all the way to the hospital or clinic. They can easily forward it and get a response. Even adverse effects of used drugs can be reported and right solution provided.
10. UPDATES OF PROMOTIONS FROM PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES:
Time after time some pharmaceutical companies offer promos and freebies as a way of appreciating their clients. Bulk SMS is a very effective way of pushing out these updates, and therefore staying relevant in this part of the health sector.
The aforementioned areas are ways bulk SMS can be used in ensuring quality health care services are provided to the entire masses who needs this.
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What do you think about the use of bulk SMS for the health sector discussed above? Use the comment box below to let us know. Questions and inquiries are also welcomed.