Alexandria, LA - Communication is key when it comes to healthcare. And that’s true whether you’re a patient or a loved one. That’s why Rapides Regional Medical Center now offers free, convenient and private text updates for all surgery patients.

The texting system is called “Informer,” and patients having surgery at RRMC or Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital can have their loved ones sign up to get text updates from “Informer” as the patient moves from pre-op to surgery and recovery back to their room.

"This allows us to let the patient's family members know how the patient is progressing through surgery," said Cheryl Bordelon, RN, BSN, CPAN, Perioperative Services Director. "In the past we've used computer screens in surgery waiting and called surgery waiting to talk to family."

This new texting system, however, comes at a time when visitation is limited.

"In the past, you might have a volunteer there to take messages and pass along information or an entire family waiting at the hospital during surgery," Bordelon said. "Since that isn't currently an option, families can use these text messages to stay up-to-date."

To receive texts, families should:

  • Text “Informer93” to 32222.
  • Reply with the last six digits of the patient’s account number. (Provided during admission.)
  • Enter the patient’s birthdate (mm/dd/yyyy).
  • Message and data rates may apply.

The patient and/or guardian can subscribe and can share a 4-digit registration code with other family members and friends. They can then subscribe by texting the 4 digit code to 32222.

"We've been using this new system for a few weeks now and the families appreciate being able to get up-to-date information about their loved one," Bordelon said. "Of course, this is not meant to replace all communication. The patient's physician will, of course, still speak to families face-to-face."

Any phone that has the ability to receive a text message will work with this system. That includes: iPhones, Androids, Blackberries, etc. If family members wish to no longer receive texts, they simply reply "STOP." Text messages are also available in Spanish.