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Texting Service Helps Reduce Patient Wait Time

RAPID CITY –Reducing patients wait times, limiting no-show rates, and maximizing provider productivity is an important mission of the Oyate Health Center. A new patient texting service helps to accomplish all three of these goals.

We all know that in today’s busy world it is difficult to keep track of all our commitments. The Oyate Health Center hopes its new texting service will help patients keep better track of their appointments and help open new ways of interacting with providers.

Lezley Kempf has spent almost three decades working for the Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Health Board as its internet and technology expert. He sat down with us to explain this new texting service.

What can you tell us about the phone and text reminder service and how it came about?

“The phone and text reminder service is an automated system that will send either a phone call or text reminder to the patient two days before their appointment.” Lez explained further, “patients must enroll in the system to use the features.” “The reminder message sent to patients will be somewhat detailed”, said Lez. “And similar to the following, you have an appointment with Dr. Harlow at 8 AM at the Oyate Health Center on Tuesday, June 22nd.”

Who can use this system?

Lez stated, “individuals must have a chart at the Oyate Health Center to use this service. Patients must enroll in the system before they can use it. Patients have the choice to opt into either the phone or text reminders. Reminders can be changed from phone to text or vice versa at any time based on the preferences of the patient.”

What are some other features of this system?

“We added an option so patients can confirm, cancel, or reschedule appointments through the text or phone call reminder service,” Lez explained. This feature makes it easier for patients to make any adjustments they may need to their appointments quickly.

Are there any device requirements?

“No, there are no device requirements to use this new system. Anyone can use this service if they have a landline. Patients wishing to use the text reminders must have a cell phone,” said Lez.

Can you access specific health information using this service?

Your health information is never shared through this system. Lez explained, “there is no personal health information or personally identifiable information shared by the reminder system.” Patients’ information is always kept safe, secure, and private. This system only reminds patients about upcoming appointments. Lez noted that, “patients cannot correspond with their providers through this service.”

Will there be any services added?

“This current service does not include dental appointments. That is a separate system. We are working on getting that implemented so dental patients can use have reminders as well,” said Lez.

When can we start using the service?

The phone and text reminder system is already in place. Patients registered at OHC can call (605-519 -5606) to opt into the phone or text reminder service.

If you need help setting up the text reminder service, please call the main number (605-355-2500) to speak with patient registration. Patient registration can help you enroll in the system, set up whatever reminders you wish to use, or adjust your current reminders.