How SMS Can Help With the Fight Against COVID-19

By:  Amy Dean - Marketing Director

Texting not only eases the burden of not being unable to see friends and family during a public health crisis it’s also become increasingly useful in the commercial and medical spheres.

Brands have used short message services (SMS) to stay in touch with their loyal customers for years. Now, amidst a pandemic, hospitals and pharmacies utilize SMS to assist in organizing the efforts in fighting against COVID-19.

In some places, hospitals serve areas many times larger than their cities. Under normal circumstances, this responsibility is bearable, but the COVID-19 pandemic brings in more patients and stretches those facilities beyond capacity. Texting is a succinct way to share essential information. Automated SMS streamlines several pandemic processes and simplifies communication.

Let’s look at some common applications for these text messages.

Vaccine Appointments and Schedules

Efficiency and organization have proved invaluable during the fight against COVID-19. Text messages play an instrumental role in helping hospitals, pharmacies and other organized vaccination sites to develop and implement patient vaccination schedules.

Optimal immunity against COVID-19 currently requires both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The ideal window between doses and how long you can delay the second dose varies based on which vaccine you receive. Many locations offer opt-in text messages that remind recipients of their first dose appointment, when they can receive the second.

Keeping these vaccinations on an efficient, timely schedule helps us stay on track when needing to vaccinate billions of people as fast as possible.

Waiting List Notices

With limited quantities of the vaccine available in many areas, letting doses go to waste isn’t an option. When scheduled vaccine appointments are canceled for any reason, staff have to find new individuals to take the leftover doses. When this is necessary the scheduling staff kick into high gear to track down patients that would have immediate availability to travel to the vaccination site.

Waiting lists provide a solution.

How does staff contact waiting list candidates quickly? In many places, they do so through text messages. With 90% of SMS messages being read within three minutes of delivery ensures any unused vaccine reaches someone’s arm before expiring.

Contact Tracing

Identifying affected people and determining who they may have come into contact with is key to slowing the spread. Tests are a convenient way to notify individuals when someone may have exposed them to the virus. After receiving the text, people can quarantine to reduce the risk of exposing others and seek medical advice or testing.

Some businesses collect contact information from employees and visitors when they arrive and send an automated text. This SMS message asks recipients to confirm when they leave by responding with a specific word. Medical professionals can use this data to identify who may have come into contact with an active COVID-19 case while at a restaurant, fitness center or another public space.

Set Up SMS Messaging Without a Developer

With Red Oxygen, sending SMS texts from your computer is simple. Our solutions are quick to implement without needing a developer, enabling you to start sharing vital information immediately.

Browse our solutions today to get started. If you need more information, contact us with any questions!

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