In the U.S., as much as 30% of patients fail to show up for their scheduled appointments, and this often costs providers close to US$150 billion every year after year. What could be the reason for this? This could be because adults can be forgetful. Often, in the busyness of their schedules, it is easy for them to forget about their health. Studies revealed that an average adult tends to forget at least three items a day, which could either be a name, event, or item. That said, using an automated appointment reminder is beneficial.
Healthcare providers should make use of the many technological advancements, especially those that can help them increase the compliance with scheduled appointments of their patients to their office. Here are some of the benefits of using automated appointment reminder calls:
Increase the Efficiency of Office Operations
Your office operations would have increased efficiency by automating appointment reminders. Since the process is automated, your staff can focus on other valuable things rather than calling patients for their schedules and reminding them of their future appointments. With an automated appointment reminder, patients can set their appointment from the message sent to them. The reply would then send a notification to the patient to confirm the availability of the schedule. Some applications can even send an appointment reminder with an included date and time, and the patient can reply to confirm yes or no to the schedule, which would automatically block off or free up the given schedule. Your staff would no longer waste time calling empty houses and redialing over and over again.
Just imagine the burden that this can remove from your staff. Since your staff no longer need to stay stuck on the phone, dialing each of the patient’s numbers and reminding them of their schedule, they can divert their energy and attention to doing more productive tasks such as updating the electronic health records of the patients and processing insurance claims. Your staff can also assist you better in daily tasks in the office that would allow you as a healthcare provider to take better care of your patients.
Improve the Prognosis of Patients
Often, patients would have a worsening of their conditions because they would fail to show up in your clinic for a follow-up check-up, for succeeding sessions, or additional medications. With an automated appointment reminder, you can make sure that your patients would make their health their top priority. Having regular care is essential to optimal health, and, as healthcare providers, you play a vital role in their prognosis.
Automated reminders can also be a way for you to streamline your service. Your patients can receive reminders if they need to make any preparations necessary before their procedure. For example, you can include a reminder pre-operation that they must be fasting for at least 8 hours before they arrive at their scheduled procedure. This way, mistakes are kept to a minimum, if not at all avoided. The reminder can also serve as a means of confirming whether the preparations were made or not.
Enhance the Satisfaction of Patients
While being a doctor is a noble profession, you also have to make a living, and achieving both is possible if you have satisfied patients who come back and recommend your practice. Like you, patients can be busy individuals and might not have the luxury of time to answer calls as they come. Automated appointment reminders can be in the form of messages that the patients can read and reply to once they are able. Through digital communication, you can make your patients feel that you are concerned about their health. These messages can allow them to communicate with you as they are multi-tasking. Sending them a gentle reminder can be enough for them to pause and reply to confirm their schedule.
Additionally, physicians can also ensure that their patients are getting personalized reminders rather than a generic one. They would highly appreciate someone who would craft a message that speaks to them, as automatic reminders can be customized with the patient’s name, the service they are offering, and essentially any information that you would like to provide.
Furthermore, automated reminders can also be used to gather insightful patient feedback to help improve your service.
With the growing use of technology today, there is no excuse for healthcare providers to become lax in taking care of their patients. There is new technology that they can leverage to ensure that they are providing the most excellent care for their patients. Automated appointment reminders are just one example of a useful technology that improves care efficiency, enhances health outcomes, and promotes patient satisfaction. This way, both patients and doctors can benefit from having the most efficient system aiding their healthcare.