How to Make Effective Patient Scheduling Reminders
American Medical News report discussed strategies for developing effective patient scheduling reminders. "Unfortunately, there's no simple answer, because some strategies that will work in an older population will not work in a younger one," said John Brewer, president of MedTech-USA in Macon, Ga. "It depends on the physician's client base."
For phone-based scheduling reminders, automated services are becoming more popular due to their cost effectiveness. CardioVascular Associates of Mesa, Ariz., with nine physicians and three offices, found that switching from manual to automated phone calls allowed staff to use the saved time more efficiently for other tasks. The practice paid a setup fee to an outside vendor, and then pays about seven cents per phone call — an arrangement that has been "worth every penny," according to practice CEO Kyle Matthews.
Another option is to offer text messages as a means of reminding patients, but the success of this method often depends on the patient base. A practice with a broader range of patient ages will more likely opt for text message reminders than a practice catering primarily to patients older than 65, for example.
Regardless of the method of communication used for patient reminders, experts recommend giving only the time of an appointment and the physician's name so as to avoid accidentally revealing private medical information to unintended recipients.
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