Healthcare Technology Featured Article

October 30, 2012

Medical Professionals Turning to Texting More and More

We all know just how popular texting is among the general public but we may not understand just how much of a resource it is becoming in the medical and business worlds. When most people think of sending a text message they are picturing a teen or young adult sending a message to their friends, letting them know what bar they are going to hit next. In reality people of all ages rely on text messages to get information to people without having to reach them on the phone and talk directly to them. Some people might use it as a way to avoid direct contact, others simply use it as a way to get information to someone when they want, knowing it has been received.

A new study shows that industries that you might never think of as ones that rely on text messages are doing so more than ever. The study, titled, "Text Messaging as a Means of Communication among Pediatric Hospitalists" showed that more pediatric hospitals and clinics are using text messaging as a way to interact with other facilities and get answers to questions quicker than ever. Of the people who engaged in the study, made up of a majority of women practitioners who had been in the medical practice for more than 10 years, 57 percent say they use text messaging for their jobs.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The most common form of communication is still the face to face variety in the hospital, and the second most is still picking up a phone and actually calling someone, but using text message as a means of gaining information is certainly becoming more popular. Of that 57 percent who use texting, 12 percent say that they send or receive more than 10 text messages per day. The respondents also say almost half of them receive text messages that pertain to their work when they are off shift.

"We are using text messaging more and more to communicate with other physicians, residents and even to transfer a patient to a different unit," said the survey’s author Stephanie Kuhlmann, MD. "We've had such a rapid increase in cell phone use, and I'm not sure that hospitals have caught up by putting in place related processes and protocols."

Edited by Rich Steeves

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