[Case Study] Text Message Appointment Reminders Increase Patient Engagement in Clinical Trials

A new case study, titled “Quintiles’ Phase I Unit Tackles Patient Trial ‘Shopping’” was just published in Applied Clinical Trials. Among other findings in the innovation Quintiles is bringing to patient recruitment and retention, there are two key points mentioned with regards to effectiveness of getting patients to show up to their appointments as well as the reduction in staff resources required to remind patients of their site visit appointments.

We have a lot of clients call us and say “we spend a lot of time calling patients, getting their voicemail and then not having assurance that they are going to show up to their appointments.” Naturally, it’s an anecdotal example of the challenges research sites face in keeping their patients engaged, so the findings in this case study are very exciting. In full disclosure, Mosio’s services were used, but the case study was independently analyzed and produced.

Key Article Findings about Text Message Appointment Reminders:

  • The amount of daily SMSs sent is positively correlated with study visit attendance rates.
  • 175 average text messages sent per day is statistically associated with a 10.07% average increase in study visit attendance.
  • There was a 91.6% reduction in resources utilized to remind study patients of screening visits.
  • Increased ability to optimize study screening department planning and resources due to appointment confirmations.

With text messaging we can confirm, cancel and reschedule appointments, and this allows us to adjust our screening department for processing.

– Benjamin Sieve, Quintiles

What about text messaging and “older” patient demographics?

Statistics from Nielsen and Pew Internet Research:

  • 45-64 year olds are the fastest growing demographic of “texters”
  • 81% of baby boomers own a mobile phone. 85% use it to send and receive text messages.
  • People 55-64 years old average 80 text messages per month
  • 74% of people aged 65+ have a mobile phone.
  • People 65+ years old average 32 text messages per month.
  • More info about older demographics and text messaging.

Start Simply and Grow

There are dozens of ways you can utilize text messaging to improve patient recruitment and retention in your clinical studies. The important thing is to start simply, we recommend one thing (Appointment Reminders are a great way to get started). After you get on board with text message appointment reminders, you can then add new features and functions to help improve patient engagement.

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