Stop Costly No-Shows with Appointment Reminder Software

Stop Costly No-Shows with Appointment Reminder Software

no shows patient reminders

Missed appointments = missed revenues.

A prescription for a full recovery? Appointment reminder software, along with other automated patient communication tools! Here’s why:

Fact: Medical practices average a 15% percent no-show rate. But this number goes down drastically with the introduction of appointment reminders.

Fact: An industry survey of 2,931 practices compared no-show rates of patients who received appointment reminders with those who didn’t: Almost half the practices who didn’t use reminders had a no-show rate above 10%, but only a quarter of the practices that did use reminders had a no-show rate above 10%.

Fact: A majority of patients – a whopping 85% – want to receive digital communication from their providers.

Your medical or dental practice isn’t just a place for healing, it’s also a place of business. That’s why the familiar scourge of no-shows or missed appointments has always been a bitter pill to swallow. And it’s not just a minor inconvenience, as you know. Every no-show means lost revenue for that reserved time slot. It also means disrupted schedules, overhead costs that cannot be recouped (like staffing, rent, utilities, insurance, etc.), and of course, patient dissatisfaction. Add to that the cost of scheduling, rescheduling, and managing paperwork – and you’ve got a big direct hit to your bottom line.

Traditional Solutions: Are They Just Band-Aids?

Now, some practices are applying traditional solutions to address the problem. While these may seem to be workable solutions, are they really the way to go?

Downside of Double or Overbooking – Sure, you can book more than one patient into certain time slots to try to cover your bases. But what if all your patients actually show up, wreaking havoc on the practice? Patients will have to wait longer for their appointments, and your staff will be put under even greater pressure. The providers’ time with their patients will have to be limited, and operating expenses will rise if there is overtime to be paid. It seems more like compounding an error than solving a problem!

Drawback of Charging a No-Show Fee – Definitely justifiable in a perfect world, but practically, it’s easier said than done. Yes, charging no-show fees communicates to patients once and for all, that a medical/dental practice is just as much a business as it is a healthcare provider. And that the provider’s time and services cost money. But, how will such a fee policy make your patients feel? Would they complain publicly about your policies? Will it drive them to ditch you for the competition? And is the fee, which is probably just a fraction of your lost revenue, worth the trouble and expense of collecting it?

Disadvantage of Manual Reminders – Endless research has indicated that appointment reminders – whether by phone, postcard, email, or text message – reduce the number of no-shows by as much as 50%! The result is more efficient and profitable operations, increased patient satisfaction (a valuable benefit by any measure), and of course, a greater likelihood that they will show up. On the other hand, these manual reminders are laborious, time-consuming and expensive. Just try to add up all the time and effort expended in making phone calls, mailing postcards, sending individual emails. More important, imagine the salaries paid to your staff for all those hours!

Automated Patient Communication Tools

Your Patients Win, Your Practice Wins!

If reminders are the most effective way of dealing with no-shows, imagine a tool that will send out all of these reminders automatically. Your patients win because they get timely communications – including confirmations and reminders, promotions, and special messages – using an approach that fits their busy, perpetually-on-the-go, 21st century lifestyle. Your practice wins not only because patients who get reminders are more likely to show up for their scheduled appointments. More importantly, you establish stronger connections with your patients – all without the burdensome, expensive, and time-consuming manual methods. With an automated system, you can just set it, and forget it!

 

Here’s a whole range of patient communication tools, including automated appointment reminders, that’ll put your practice in the pink!

Fully Customizable: Automated Confirmations and Reminders – Send out reminders or other messages via phone, text, or email (whichever the patient prefers). Set them to the relevant provider, procedure, exam room, and all at the times and intervals of your choice. Time is money – and THIS is a time-saving wonder.

Instant Communication: True 2-Way Texting – Your patients will love you – they no longer have to wait for hours to get an answer to a quick question. Your staff will love you – the days of fielding 10 phone calls all at once are over. Moreover, both patient and provider can initiate the text conversation – it’s just like texting with family and friends. Greater productivity, here we come!

Easy-Shmeezy Scheduling: Online Scheduler – Let patients schedule appointments (or wait-list themselves for preferred dates) online, 24/7. Of course, you control all the parameters – including which providers, procedures, and exam rooms can be scheduled online. You also determine the length of various procedures based on specific providers (which only you can see, not your patients). Yes, the system is THAT customizable.

A Click Away to the Next Level of Patient Care: Patient Communication Center – Want to communicate last-minute schedule changes, emergency closures, or other pertinent data? Need a speedy way for patients to contact you with questions and concerns – and for you to reply fast? This feature lets both of you quickly text or e-mail each other. Because time is of the essence to patient and provider, important info is just a click away!

Relationship Builder: Automated Patient Messaging – It takes more than appointment reminders to show patients you care. How about welcome messages to new patients? Or pre- or post-op instructions? Or healthcare updates? You can do it all via automated text, phone, or email. You no longer have to lift a finger to lift your patient’s spirits!

 

Find out what our Appointment Reminder software can do for your practice – risk-free! 
Contact us for a 30-day FREE TRIAL.

Patient Communicator is a state-of-the-art software especially designed for medical and dental practitioners. A win-win system for both your patients and your practice, its sophisticated features make no-shows a thing of the past. At the same time, they make it easier for patients to book appointments online, and for providers to build stronger relationships with their patients, increase revenues, and grow their practice.

About the author: Meir is the founder and CEO of Patient Communicator, a simple but feature rich platform that helps medical and dental practices of all kinds to better communicate with their patients. Meir is passionate about helping practices grow by enhancing the patient experience and improving practice efficiency. Learn more about Meir and Patient Communicator here.

9 Ways Online Scheduling Keeps Your Practice Healthier

9 Ways Online Scheduling Keeps Your Practice Healthier

online patient scheduling

Has your appointment scheduling system moved to the 21st century yet?

If you haven’t switched to online scheduling, it’s about time!
Take a look at these numbers:

30% – The rise in the proportion of patients booking online in 2014, continuing eight years of uninterrupted growth. Accenture predicts that within four years two-thirds of all medical appointments booked in the United States will be booked online.

986 million – Number of medical appointments online patients will make in the U.S. in 2019, accounting for 38% of all appointments made that year.

$3.2 billion – Amount in savings or added value for U.S. health systems generated by online appointment scheduling by 2019.

A quick look at the benefits of online scheduling makes it clear why everything is headed in that direction. A good online scheduler empowers your patients (both old and new) to schedule their own appointments online, 24/7. Your patients are also used to a lifestyle of booking online – that’s how they reserve their hotel rooms, flights, and movie tickets. And they will love not having to wait on hold for your busy office staff!

And that’s just for your patients. Your office staff will be freed up for more critical tasks and will generally have more time on their hands. Online scheduling streamlines your appointment scheduling process, not to mention the all important bottom line – that better efficiency translates into lower costs. That’s something we can all appreciate.

Manual scheduling could put your practice in bad shape.

Put simply, manual scheduling is just bad business practice.  Here’s why:

Drains staff time and budget. Manual scheduling requires setting up appointments over the phone, recording them in an appointment book or electronic calendar, making reminder phone calls, recording cancellations, resetting cancelled appointments, and all the while, scrambling to fill those workday gaps. All of this means lots and lots of your office staff’s time is taken up with scheduling tasks. Goodbye, productivity; hello, increased payroll and operational costs.

Inconveniences patients. No one is interested in picking up the phone just to wait interminable minutes on hold for your staff to pick up. All they want to see a choice of available practitioners and time slots, and schedule an appointment with just a few clicks. Now combine today’s patient preferences with the limited hours of your office staff, and you’ll see why an online appointment scheduler beats the manual version every time.

An online scheduler keeps your practice fit as a fiddle.

Ease your workload. Boost your savings. Engage your patients and make them happier by giving them the convenience of scheduling their own appointments. Here are 9 reasons that make online scheduling software, such as Patient Communicator’s Online Scheduler, it’s just what the doctor ordered:

  1. Increase your savings – Why pay staff to manually schedule and confirm appointments, when you can invest in a solution that will do the work for you?
  2. Make it convenient for your patients – Enable them to schedule their own appointments (and even wait-list themselves for preferred dates) online anytime, anywhere.
  3. Stay in control – You determine all the parameters of the appointments that can be scheduled online.
  4. Block chronic cancellers– Patients who are habitual no-shows will not be able to use the online scheduler, thanks to its Black List feature.
  5. Stay connected – With appointments list online (and not in just your office), you can easily access this information wherever there’s an Internet connection. Review future appointments remotely!
  6. Keep patient data safe and secure – Strong encryption and anti-hacking features stores customer information securely online – better than if it were in an appointment book at your front desk.
  7. Enjoy flexibility – Easily make schedule modifications, such as closing off certain hours or providers, or taking certain days of the week off of the scheduler.
  8. Streamline operations – Freeing up staff from manual scheduling means they can provide better service when your patients arrive, and lend their attention to other critical tasks.
  9.  

  10. Reduce no-shows – Automated SMS and email reminders advise patients of a pending appointment. This gives them the chance to confirm or reschedule, and gives your staff a heads up regarding any last-minute rescheduling.

Sounds great? Find out what our Online Scheduler can do for your practice – totally risk-free!

Contact us for your 30-day FREE TRIAL.

PatientCommunicator provides state-of-the-art solution designed for medical and dental practitioners. A win-win system for both your patients and your practice, its sophisticated features include Automated Confirmations & Reminders, 2-Way Texting, an Online Scheduler, Reviews & Surveys, and Marketing Tools. The solution makes no-shows a thing of the past, and makes it easier for patients to book appointments. It also enables providers to build stronger relationships with their patients, increase revenues, and grow their practice.

About the author: Meir is the founder and CEO of Patient Communicator, a simple but feature rich platform that helps medical and dental practices of all kinds to better communicate with their patients. Meir is passionate about helping practices grow by enhancing the patient experience and improving practice efficiency. Learn more about Meir and Patient Communicator here.