How Patient Reminder Messages Can Reduce Appointment No-Shows by 100% at least

Patient no-shows are among the most prominent issues affecting healthcare businesses. They can dramatically impend business performance and can result in significant revenue losses.

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Patient no-shows: a major challenge affecting practice management

Patient no-shows: a major challenge affecting practice management

Patient no-shows are one of the most prominent issues that can majorly affect healthcare businesses, and contaminate their business performance. They can cause problems across all healthcare processes, and even having just a couple of daily no-shows can significantly impair businesses from meeting key performance indicators, which can result in large losses of revenue. On average, with a couple of daily no-shows, your healthcare practice could face losses of around $1000 per week, which is especially concerning. While there are many reasons that patients may fail to show up for their appointment, more often than not, this can be solved with simple appointment reminding software. Reminding patients of their bookings in advance can greatly reduce the likelihood of no-shows, meaning that you can save both time and money by efficiently filling appointment slots. Whether this is one month, week, or day in advance, or a combination of the three, you can reduce no-shows by 100% through efficient patient reminder software. You can optimize productivity and workflow by feeling confidence that patients will show up on time, with the additional option of effectively rescheduling appointments as a preventative measure.

Importance of tracking your patient no-show rate

It is of utmost importance that you track your patient no-show rate, as you need to have the numbers to be able to quantify your patient no-show improvement efforts. Using patient no-show data, you can establish a baseline of the number of patients who fail to show, and this can then be used to develop progress plans aimed at improving business processes. Considering no-show data represents lost revenue for practices, it is important to capture the data that concerns your financial health. For example, if two patients failed to show up every day, this means you could lose $104,000 annually, which is a significant loss! This equates to investments in new technology upgrades or equipment, as well as improved employee benefits or new staff hires. Appointment reminders that are optimized to reduce no-shows can help prevent this from occurring, and ensure that your business flourishes. 

Why should you use text reminders in medical practices?

Text reminders are the easiest way to reduce no-show rates, with patients preferring their use due to their accessibility and convenience. Over 5 billion people in the world own and use mobile phones, with their ubiquitous nature meaning that almost everyone is familiar with its content and format. Given the rise in phone and technology usage, automated text reminders are undoubtedly the best way to effectively reach patients and ensure they are aware of upcoming appointments. Over 73% of consumers actually prefer to get a text message compared to other communication forms, and the ability to reply within their own time makes them a great avenue for reducing no-shows, and strengthening patient relationships.

Importance of tracking your patient no-show rate
How can patient reminder messages reduce appointment no-shows

How can patient reminder messages reduce appointment no-shows

There are various reasons why patient reminders reduce no-shows, and why they are an excellent option for you to implement into your healthcare practice. In doing so, you can save large costs that can otherwise arise, and ensure that you are able to continue investing in the right technology and resources to optimize your clinic’s workflow. After all, you should be prioritizing treating patient health, and appointment reminding software can be the perfect place for you to start.

There have been proven reports of higher patient satisfaction with patient reminder messages, as text messaging services allow for greater interaction and self-management. For example, patients can reply to the text with their approval, or if the time does not suit, they have the option to cancel or reschedule with a new date and time. This way, practitioners can receive a timely response that enables them to continue serving and treating clients, by filling up empty slots efficiently with other patients who are on the waiting list. It is a streamlined method that schedules patients continually and ensures that you are able to see as many as resources allow.

Patient reminders can also serve a variety of uses that aren’t restricted to appointment reminding services. For instance, patients can be reminded about medications that need to be taken, as well as any upcoming tests. Personal information can also be collected, which will reduce wait times within clinics, and test results can also be sent out which eliminate the need for certain follow-up appointments. Reminders aren’t set in stone either, meaning you are able to customize the time that they are sent, to ensure that patients are reminded anywhere from one year, to one day in advance. 

Patient reminders are also highly cost-effective! Although they are reliant on technology, the software actually requires minimal investment in IT infrastructure. Most reminder technology services should be able to be integrated with healthcare databases to decrease operating costs, and they do not require continual staff training and development. Because of their automation, little to no staff are required to operate them, with many of the processes running independently. The automated patient text reminders also mean that the cost of running its service increases marginally with the number of reminders increasing, which is great for growing and starting healthcare businesses alike.

3 tips for effective patient reminder text messages

Because there’s no single right way to create patient reminder systems, you should consider crafting messages in a way that increases engagement with patients, and encourages healthcare interactions. As a result, we have compiled the top 3 most effective tips to ensure that your patient text messages translate well to your patients. 

  • Automate - Automated text reminders are the best way to remind patients of upcoming appointments, as it requires minimal effort on your end, and ensures that patients remember their commitments. Not only are they super easy to implement, but automated texts also allow for patients to respond and either confirm or cancel their appointment. They are efficient, and ensure you can save time and increase your bottom line.
  • Be brief - Make sure that the content of your messages is brief, concise, and factual. This means you should include the date, time, location, name of contact, as well as the option to opt-out, cancel, or reschedule if necessary. Patients don’t want to have to spend time deciphering the heart of your message, so skipping to the point allows them to move on with their day, whilst supporting prompt responses. 
  • Be personal - All points of communication should be personalized to the specific patient, as it highlights your dedication and care towards them. Simply linking with healthcare databases and addressing patients by name can provide a greater sense of care and consideration towards their treatment, which is always appreciated. 

Take home message

No-shows can result in immense costs for your business, and prevent you from investing time and money into doing what you do best; treating patients. However, although they can be intensely frustrating to deal with, the right patient reminder messaging software will allow you to reduce no-shows by 100% and ensure that you are maximizing your resources with an optimized workflow. Automated reminders are a great cost-effective way to increase patient interaction and communication, and can elevate the quality of care that your services offer. 

Further reading:

3 tips for effective patient reminder text messages

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