06 Apr 2020

The Importance of Shorter SMS Messages to the NHS
  • Healthcare
  • SMS messaging is a powerful communication tool for multiple industries, including the NHS. For each SMS sent, there’s a small cost attached to it; this cost is usually between 1.5p and 1.65p. Although this doesn’t seem like a lot, with millions of patients this quickly multiplies.

    It’s important for all users of MJog and other patient messaging services to keep their messages as short as possible. By reducing message size, we reduce messaging costs and save the NHS millions of pounds every year.

    Kevin Nutt, Managing Director

    Although some messages appear as just one message, if they are any longer than 160 characters they will cost two messages or more. It is much more efficient to send one short message with a link that takes patients through to somewhere more informative.

    For example; a message length of 700 characters would incur a sending cost of 4x that of a message with less than 160 characters, so a total of between 6p and 6.6p per message.

    It’s therefore essential that the whole healthcare industry prioritises reducing SMS length to save the NHS money.

    Longer SMS messages to patients are not necessarily a good thing. Although they can contain more information, it’s more cost effective to send a short message and then direct people to a reliable source of information on the internet.

    Donna Unwin, Sales Manager

    Practices can send messages of unlimited length, for free, with MJog Smart Messenger. Smart messaging using WiFi or cellular data is free and is perfect for sending mass communications such as those sent about Coronavirus. By using Smart, practices can communicate more effectively and clearly whilst also allowing detailed responses back to the practice.

    Keeping messages short and sweet is essential for clear communication. Patients do not want to read 700 characters worth of SMS. Inform them quickly of what they need to know and direct them to where they can find out more. Shorter messages also save the NHS money, win win.

    Matt Freestone, Marketing Manager

    Through MJog, a few Fridays ago, we had a peak of 30,000 messages being sent per minute at an average size of 2.4 segments per message. With 72,000 segments being sent per minute, the approximate cost to the NHS was £1,116 per minute. By reducing this to an average of 2 segments per message, collectively it would save over £186 per minute, or £11,160 an hour.

    Across the whole patient messaging sector we should be pushing for smarter and shorter SMS messages. MJog is leading the way in this area, we are consistently adapting our message templates to become shorter and smarter, moving the information online or directing people directly to the substantial NHS resources online.

    If your practice needs to save time, money, and resources during this difficult time, please reach out to us at sales@mjog.com.

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