Do patient appointment reminders really lower patient no-shows? They really do.
That is, if you choose the right partner. Appointment reminders have been around for a long time, so it’s easy to assume that they’re all the same by now. But appointment reminder software isn’t a commodity, in fact there’s opportunity for vast differences between solutions.
Scalability is a good example. Say your organization is large and has multiple locations and varying specialties. If your appointment reminder vendor says they can scale for you but requires every location to have its own data upload or is it’s own “instance” for the purposes of go-live, you’ve found a small solution masquerading as an enterprise solution.
If your appointment reminder software isn’t intuitive to your patients and doesn’t fit into the workflows your staff require, it won’t be capable of significantly lowering your no-show rate. So if reclaiming revenue and lowering no-shows is a priority, here are some things you’ll want to look for in the patient engagement partner you choose.
Bi-directional Integration with Your EHR/Practice Management System
Communication is everything, it’s as true for software systems as it is people. If your appointment reminder software can’t talk to your EHR or practice managementment software, data will be difficult to access and your staff won’t have what they need to anticipate schedule changes or engage patients who need to change their appointments.
The ability to serve large medical organizations effectively isn’t just about managing volume. It requires the ability to manage multiple locations, including reporting, uploading, and managing all those locations from one instance and one log-in.
Effective appointment reminders are configured based on location, provider, appointment type, and even whether or not there are multiple appointments.
Sometimes patients still forget. Choose a solution that can automate the follow-up to patients who no-show and get them back on the schedule. This is key to reclaiming lost revenue.
Two-Way Patient Chat
What happens when instead of replying “1 to confirm”, your patient sends a smiley face emoji? Without patient chat, you’ll never see that message but with two-way chat, you can see that response and even reply. Be sure your vendor of choice equips you with this ability to answer quick patient questions and reply to non-standard responses so no one gets missed.
Your patient left without scheduling their next appointment? Patient recalls automate this outreach so your patients stay current in their care and your staff can engage with patients in the office rather than spending hours on manual patient outreach.
What happens when a provider is out sick, a snow storm hits, or your office launches Telehealth to manage the risk of an outbreak like COVID-19? If your appointment reminders include broadcast messaging, you’ll be able to notify your patients quickly and effectively without putting your staff on the phones for hours.
This seems like a given but we all know it isn’t. What happens when you need to add a location, provider, or make a change to your configuration? What happens when the inevitable software hiccup happens? If you can’t reach help quickly, you’re stuck with software that can’t meet your needs. The people standing behind the software you choose is just as important to delivering results as the software itself. Be sure you choose someone who’s in it for the long-haul.