Contact Tracing: 7 Reasons for Public Health to Use Text Messages
Public Health Units, Contact Tracing and Texting
The efforts of public health workers, contact tracers and medical professionals has never more critical as it is today in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Tracking and notifying people who may have been exposed to the virus and getting them to quarantine is absolutely critical to containing any further spread of the disease.
Normally this done with a phone call.
But there are challenges in attempting to reach people this way…
- Today, many people ignore incoming voice calls. After all, the people in their immediate social circles send them text messages. Incoming calls often come from outsiders—often from telemarketers or scammers—and as a result they are viewed with suspicion.
- Not everyone has voice minutes on their phones. People struggling financially may only have a “texting only” package as its the most affordable option for communication.
- It's time consuming. Calling people over and over and leaving messages is a waste of time for staff who are already struggling with a massive workload.
The solution to struggling to reach people with phone calls is to send them a text or SMS message with CONNECTsms, our specialized desktop texting software.
Note: Text messages are not secure and should not be used for sending personal or sensitive information. What they are great for is making an initial connection so that the conversation can move to another, more secure channel. For example, use text to reach someone and ask them to call you, or set up a time to call them when they're expecting you.
There are 7 reasons why public health officials should consider using CONNECTsms to reach their audience with simple text messages. Let's get into them…
Reason #1: People Read Text Messages
People read almost every text message they get, and they do so—on average—within a few minutes.
And it's not just the proximity to their phones that explains the allure of text messages. After all, most people can pick up their emails on the very same device, yet these go unseen for hours or days at a time. The difference is that 99.9% of text messages originate from a select group of very close contacts within your immediate social circle.
Emails, on the other hand, can come from anyone.
When my phone alerts me of a new message for example, I know it's from my girlfriend, my mom or a handful of very close friends. Because these are the people I care the most about, it's rare that it takes me more than a few minutes to review that message. Your contacts, and very likely you yourself—are exactly the same.
Delivering your public health message via text puts you in this very elite company and gives your message the priority it deserves.
Reason #2: CONNECTsms is Cloud-Based
What does this mean to public health professionals?
It means the software can be accessed with a modern browser from anywhere with Internet access and there's no impact on your current IT systems (since there's no downloadable software).
More importantly during a global pandemic, it means it's ideal for working remotely.
Reason #3: Built-In Oversight for Accountability
CONNECTsms makes it easy to ensure your staff are adhering to your public health organization's established communication policies and protocols by allowing administrators the ability to oversee all the conversations on the platform.
Reason #4: Complete Record Keeping for Public Health Professionals
With CONNECTsms, it's easy to ensure that a complete record of all conversations—with date and times stamps of all message threads included—is maintained, if that is important you.
The ability of regular CONNECTsms “Users” to delete conversations can be disabled and only users with administrator-level access can delete active or archived conversations—thus preventing the inadvertent or deliberate deletion of data.
Reason #5: Save Money By Eliminating the Need for Multiple Hand Held Devices
CONNECTsms can be used by dozens or even hundreds of people within the same organization, essentially providing them with access to a private cell phone number without the cost associated with one.
Reason #6: Easy to Use—No Long Learning Curve
The basics of using CONNECTsms can be achieved in 2 minutes and 32 seconds. That's the length of the Quick Start video on the software's dashboard.
Reason #7: Affordable
If your public health department is cash-strapped, you'll be happy to learn that subscriptions for the CONNECTsms desktop texting app start at just $39.99/month.
We offer a free, no obligation 30-day demo for qualifying businesses and organizations.
To learn more about CONNECTsms, click here.
To send us an email with your questions, click here.
To reach us by voice, call 877-403-2402 (9–5, Monday to Friday EST).