With Healthcare Integration Architect and Consultant at TRS.INK
Message delivery rate
Languages for Covid-19 updates
IT solutions consultant TRS.INK sought a method for the healthcare sector in the region to systematically handle pandemic-related communication with local populations.
Instant messaging was chosen as a more effective medium than email and phone calls for Covid-19 and general healthcare communication as it’s highly scalable yet allows for personalization. Citizens also check messenger inboxes more frequently than email and can refer to saved information at any time.
TRS.INK needed a messaging platform that supported all popular instant messaging channels as no official channel for Covid-19 communication had been selected yet.
The platform also had to support integration with existing hospital information systems used by public and private hospitals in the region. Finally, it needed to be user-friendly for quick set-up and implementation.
Few messaging platforms available in the Balkan Peninsula offer a wide range of multichannel connections, therefore limiting channel choices. TRS.INK came across respond.io and developed the following solutions with the support of a Customer Success Manager.
Local IT service providers were not interested in developing a new messaging solution such as a dedicated app because of the time and complexity involved. Instead, they wanted to leverage existing modes of communication.
Viber and WhatsApp were determined to be the most popular channels among the region’s target population of preadolescents to 60-something year-olds. TRS.INK opted for Viber as the official channel for healthcare communication in the region.It easily connected a Viber Chatbot to respond.io to send push notifications, broadcasts or 1:1 messages to contacts as needed.
When patients register at a hospital, their name, phone number and other identification details are automatically uploaded onto the hospital’s database and synced with all integrated systems.
With respond.io, TRS.INK is able to equip hospitals with the solution to correctly identify patients and ensure they receive the results meant only for them.
Previously, patients physically filled in a contact form at hospital appointments and returned in person to collect their results. During the pandemic, these processes had to be conducted automatically and remotely to reduce the burden on hospital staff and contain the spread of Covid-19.
TRS.INK sent each citizen who went to get tested for Covid-19 an SMS with instructions to opt in for Viber communication. Once the opt-in was collected, hospitals could then send relevant updates directly and securely to patients’ Viber accounts.
Health institutions that implemented this solution were among the first in the region to deliver PCR test results via Viber. Home isolation and medical intervention instructions were also sent over the channel.
Once the Covid-19 vaccine was available, Viber’s scope of use was expanded to set up vaccine appointments. Contacts would receive personalized push notifications of proposed appointment slots and had to confirm their acceptance.
If they rejected it, they’d receive a survey to select a suitable date and time. After the appointment, a vaccine certificate would be sent to their Viber account for easy retrieval as proof of vaccination.
“Respond.io allowed us to establish a line of communication with patients quickly and effectively during a time of crisis. Launching a dedicated app for Covid-19 communication would have been too slow and expensive, and we foresaw low adoption rates, especially among less tech-savvy audiences. Now that we’re out of crisis mode, we see great potential in respond.io’s solutions for wider use in the healthcare industry and beyond.” — Healthcare Integration Architect and Consultant at TRS.INK.
Between August 2020 and October 2022, TRS.INK succeeded in reaching more than 132,000 citizens on Viber about their PCR test results or Covid-19 vaccinations. These messages were delivered in the Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian languages.
The messages had a 99.9% successful delivery rate on respond.io and reached preadolescents to sexagenarians, evincing the high usage of instant messaging among citizens of all ages.
As Covid-19 shifts into the endemic stage, TRS.INK’s use of Viber will evolve accordingly. It aims to provide information about health insurance, enable direct communication with general practitioners and deliver laboratory results and radiological findings over the channel.
The IT consultant is also interested in expanding its relationship with respond.io beyond the healthcare sector to the business administration sector. This is easy with the flexibility respond.io offers in the range of instant messaging channels and integrations it supports.