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Texting U 4 Better Health

SMS keeps our region dialed into care
You want to get more involved in keeping track of your health. The more you stay on top of your doctor appointments, medications and therapy, the healthier you’ll be. But sometimes, busy schedules just get in the way.

To reduce emergency room visits and missed appointments, we’re looking at simple, yet popular ways to reach out and keep you better connected to your health.

Mobile phones are a popular way to focus on staying healthy. That’s why many healthcare organizations like ours are exploring SMS (or text) messaging as a quick, direct and low-cost way to help you keep your health on track.

85 percent of U.S. adults own mobile phones, with 17 percent of them accessing health information on them.

--Fox, Susanna, Mobile Health 2010, Pew Internet and American Life Project, Oct. 2010

Geisinger is there

Tapping into connected healthcare
Our goal is to use texting to improve health, promote safe medication usage and promote preventive care. Why? Because it’s: 

  • Common sense: Let’s face it, we pay attention to our phones. Many of us use text messaging almost every day. Why? Because it’s a fast, low-cost way to get important information when you need it. So we use texting to reach you with important health information because you’re most likely to see and respond to it.  
  • Patient-focused: Studies, such as the OpenNotes® Project conducted by Geisinger and other healthcare providers, have shown that engaged patients are more likely to have better health outcomes. 

Where we’re at, where we’re headed
We’re just getting started with healthcare SMS services. While many of our text services are still being planned, we’re actively testing two programs for a Fall 2013 release:

  1. Appointment Reminder Program: Alerts you by text about your appointment date, time and location, as well as provides a phone number for you to call with questions related to your appointment.
  2. GI-Nutrition: Focuses on diet, exercise and motivational messages, along with reminders to complete food and weight logs. 

In the future, our texting program may expand to include

  • Chronic Condition Manager: Reminds you of important therapy or medication times.
  • Results Information: Know exactly when your health information is available on MyGeisinger, MyHealth Rewards and thehealthplan.com.

Text messaging is a low-cost, popular platform that has a positive effect on promoting healthy behavior, proper medication use and preventive care. Come back to this page often to learn about our progress.