How effective communication and consumer technology are part of an Appointment Reminder Strategy.

The acceptance of consumer technology and effective communication can be used develop an appointment reminder strategy. A successful protocol can reduce missed appointments and help your patients stick to their treatment plans.  You can reach patients by: 

  • Adopting mobile phone based reminder communications

According to the Pew Research Center, 91% of adults in the United States own cell phones. Therefore, the most sure fire way to reach your patients is on this device. Cell phones, are often in close proximity to their owners, and the message can be delivered promptly.

  • Using multiple channels to communicate with patients

The benefit of communicating on multiple channels ensures the message is received correctly. Many cell phones and smart phones, have lines multiple ways of displaying information. These include email, text and voice messages. By using multiple channels, patients will have multiple reference points of information.

  • Communicating with patients in their preferred language

Although English is the primary language spoken in the United States, when it comes to matters of health, effective communication is paramount. Patients who speak English as a second language can benefit from information communicated in their native tongue. There is less likelihood for misunderstanding when one can confirm the date, time, and location of their appointment. 

  • Reaching out to patients at an ideal time of day

Receiving messages during the day, or in the early evening increases chances that the message will be heard, and the patient will confirm receipt of the message. Messages sent too early or too late in the day have a higher chance of being ignored or forgotten.

Effectiveness of SMS Appointment Reminders

Too much revenue being lost to patient no-shows, and appointment reminders, like postcards and personal calls are expensive and time consuming. Teletask Appointment Reminders enables you to efficiently deliver high volumes of patient phone, text and email reminders without overburdening your staff or breaking your budget. Not only do appointment reminders save healthcare professionals' time, Teletask Appointment Reminders reduce broken appointments by an average of 25-30%. You’ll keep patients on track with their care and retain that appointment revenue.

Our system can handle the logistics of delivering multiple message types for multiple appointments, and on multiple days. This is a complicated way of saying Teletask can take the burden out of setting each appointment or message and the follow-up. As the system handles the timing and the types of messages, your staff to focus on inter-personal communication.

Using multiple channels of communication ensures the information is accessible to the patient. We all used to receive postcards for upcoming appointments, and this was a nice gesture. However, smart phones, that we carry with us everyday enabled with text, email and voice messages, are now the most common location to store appointments. Teletask can seamlessly deliver, text, voice and emails messages without burdening your office's phone-lines or internet.

If the office is closed due to an emergency, our system can be accessed from off-site. This ensures, that even in an emergency closure, patients can be notified. This information, accessible with the proper credentials, ensures that staff can manage messages from any location with internet access.

In general, when using our appointment reminders, the day to day focus of the office will change very little.  Perhaps, the staff will spend less time leaving messages and following up, sending mail and more time delivering a high quality of care.

5 SIGNS YOUR PRACTICE SHOULD ADOPT AUTOMATED PATIENT COMMUNICATION

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2017 is in full swing, and a recent MedData Group survey found that 29% of practices are planning to adopt automated reminder technology in the next 12 months. Is your practice among that group? If you are still undecided about adding automated communication to your practice, here are five indicators that it is time to make a move:

Your patients are asking for it.
Reaching busy, on-the-go patients is an ongoing challenge. Automated communication that allows patients to receive and respond to your message at their convenience is an excellent way to give your practice cutting-edge appeal and improve response rates. Give patients the choice of phone call, text message or email notifications to see your patient satisfaction scores go up and no-show rates go down.

You are not seeing many familiar faces.
If your practice is predominantly focused on attracting new patients, you may be neglecting your existing patient base and putting yourself at risk of losing them. Recalling “lost” patients with automated wellness reminders could uncover a large number of patients that simply forgot to schedule their next appointment. Giving patients an opportunity to give feedback outside of the practice with automated surveys could reveal an underlying service or process problem that may be costing you patients.

Your schedule is booked solid.
Though a full schedule is every practice’s dream, the reality is this makes it harder for patients to be seen often causing them to go elsewhere for faster service. Automated appointment reminders will consistently provide patients with ample time to cancellation or reschedule. If everyone confirms their appointment as scheduled, then great! But when patients need to make an adjustment, you can use advance notice of those cancellations to move other patients waiting to be seen up in your schedule and improve satisfaction.

You are located in an area susceptible to extreme weather.
Unexpected office closings and the resulting rescheduling of appointments can be quite a headache. Automated notifications safeguard patients affected by an unexpected closing from the dissatisfaction, confusion and sometimes risk of coming to the office when you are out. An automated notification system with flexible and customizable messaging allows you to include additional information such as your plans for rescheduling to help reduce an influx of calls once you reopen.

The phone rings too much.
Unexpected increases in call volume or decreases in staffing may mean a longer hold time for those calling your practice. If you use this time wisely, you can reduce the number of unhappy callers who hang up after being on hold too long and provide important information to patients about your practice and their treatment.