Guide To Setting Up Appointment Reminders

Almost 88% of healthcare appointments are scheduled by phone, and over 45% of US citizens prefer text messaging as their primary communication channel.

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Patient communication preferences

Patient communication preferences

Almost 88% of healthcare appointments are scheduled by phone, and over 45% of US citizens prefer text messaging as their primary communication channel. When you consider the convenience of these services and how easy they are to use, as well as how commonplace they are in regular society, it is not surprising that they are the most preferred method of communication for patients. As a result, you can utilize this information to the best ability when it comes to your healthcare business. In knowing that many patients prefer mobile technology, it is strongly suggested that you automate your appointment reminders to strengthen patient relationships, and improve clinical outcomes. Especially considering that no-shows can incur large costs for your healthcare business, both financially and temporally, using messaging services allows you to see as many patients as possible with an optimized appointment system. You can streamline business processes, ensure that critical information is sent to patients concerning their bookings, and that most of all, they remember to show up!

4 main reasons for scheduling patient appointment reminders

There are various reasons why you should implement patient appointment reminders, aside from their obvious convenience, and understanding these will greatly boost the quality and service of your practice. It is important to consider why you should be incorporating patient appointment software before you jump into it, in order to ensure that you are utilizing its features for the right reasons. 

  • Ensure high appointment retainment rates - Appointment reminder systems should ensure that patients are able to keep their appointments and that they actually show up. After all, that’s what the systems are for! Ideally, you should aim to have patients who continually show up across time, and also a stable attendance rate when it comes to your practice. 
  • Reduce patient no-shows - No-shows can rack up intense costs for your practice if not careful, as only a couple of daily no-shows can equate to $1000 financial losses per week. Automated reminders are a great way to combat this, by sending out texts or emails that are periodically spaced, providing a way for patients to actively recall their bookings. 
  • Improve patient satisfaction - Appointment reminders are a fantastic way to improve patient satisfaction, as they provide a convenient service that is directly tailored and addressed to specific individuals. They provide a personal touch that allows for communication before, during, and after appointments. 
  • Provide efficient schedules - Appointment scheduling software for healthcare is also great for establishing optimized schedules that allow you to see as many patients as resources allow, and that can more easily accommodate reschedules and cancellations. You can ensure that you are providing the best care for your patients, with all empty slots filled, and that you have efficient business processes that can handle a regular flow of patients.
4 main reasons for scheduling patient appointment reminders
Effective tips to set up appointment reminders

Effective tips to set up appointment reminders

There are a large number of variables to think about when forming instant message reminders to patients, and it is vital to keep a degree of polished methodology while messaging. Remember that you are managing delicate patient data, thus you must keep on creating secure business processes. To direct you in executing effective appointment reminders, we have assembled some top tips:

  • Get assent - Before you send any data, you need to ensure that you have patient consent to contact them through message. Although you may have their cell phone number recorded, it doesn't imply that you have consent to send data along these lines. You really want to illuminate patients that their number is only utilized for reminders, and that their information will remain confidential. Consent can be retrieved during the enrolment process, while affirming an arrangement, or through a web-based patient portal.
  • Build up message policies - It is a great practice to foster policies relating to text message reminders, in order to guarantee consistency, and ensure that all staff and patients are in total agreement. There ought to be a reasonable layout of who is approved to send and receive instant messages, as well as regular checks to confirm the patient's number and information is accurate. 
  • Be compact - You really want to guarantee that your messages are direct, and contain significant and verifiable data that can be effectively perceived by patients. As we all lead busy lives, patients would rather not invest the energy interpreting what you're attempting to say. Patients should have the option to skim read, and assemble the substance of the text reminder. Delicate data should also be sent somewhere else, and not over message where it could be less secure.
  • Archive the text messages - All instant messages ought to be noted in the clinical record, as it is a state of correspondence that identifies the patient's wellbeing. This way, they can be used in reference to important issues, particularly on account of consistency issues, where you should give proof that a patient has abused specific rules or norms.
  • Have regular audits- It is critical to review the messages being sent to guarantee that they are clear to all patients. This needs to be directed by numerous individuals from your medical services work environment to guarantee a more hearty framework that can proficiently survey and support messages. 
  • Be timely - Ensure that you are sending reminders during business hours, and within the right time and date. Most healthcare practices tend to send messages at 6 pm, but whatever you choose, make sure it is supported by data that presents high engagement with patients.

Reduce no-shows with Carepatron's automated appointment reminders

If this sounds overwhelming to you, don’t fret! Many healthcare companies create health business software, designed with your needs in mind, and this is where Carepatron comes in. As one of the leading software options for healthcare clinics, and used by over 10,000+ health professionals, Carepatron provides an intuitive way for you to streamline your business processes, and support appointment management. Regardless of whether you are starting out, or are a full-fledged healthcare business, Carepatron has something to offer everyone with their flexible payment plans. With Carepatron’s encrypted technology, you’re able to securely manage patient appointments, with optimized schedules generated for you that maximize your available resources. In a centralized workflow, with a seamless dashboard, you can view all appointments, and the patient portal enables patients to book their appointments online. This cuts administrative and labor costs, as well as time on the phone, as patients are able to easily book, cancel, and reschedule in an automated fashion. Appointment reminders further support these processes, by ensuring that patients turn up to their appointments on time. All of these features are fully customizable, allowing you to amend business areas to suit your specific needs. Using Carepatron will inevitably increase your productivity, and boost growth within your clinic!

Further reading:

Reduce no-shows with Carepatron's automated appointment reminders

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No-shows refer to the situation that arises when a patient fails to attend an appointment they had booked, and unfortunately are something that every healthcare practice has to deal with. The biggest concern regarding no-shows is the fact that they undermine a patient’s health. Failure to seek treatment can result in delayed care, misdiagnosis, and worse clinical outcomes.
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