Crazy as it may seem, remembering something as important as a doctor’s appointment is an event we tend to put out of our minds. We are very forgetful when it comes to getting to our doctor appointments despite the value and necessity these events are for our health. We have a difficult time prioritizing appointments in our schedule or being sure to have our routine well visits.
Some medical practices are incorporating new strategies to improve communication between patient and physician with regards to appointment needs, reminders, repeating appointments. Let us discuss just a few of these patient friendly programs. Utilization of these tools promotes patient adherence and staff efficiency.
I do not know about you, but I know for a fact I need those automated appointment reminders. Sometimes these are the only way I get to my appointments on time. This type of program is integrated within the scheduling system by using your electronic health record. Through Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), which is a tool that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line, patients receive automated phone calls to remind them of their upcoming appointments. This message can be personalized by your medical practice. In addition to phone call reminders, patients can also receive reminders via SMS text message. Utilizing such resources ensures patient commitment as well as frees up the staff to focus on more important tasks.
Many times after having an appointment with the doctor, patients rarely know their schedule availability so far in advance. From a front desk employee’s point of view, the commitment to call patients back for scheduling is overwhelming and time consuming. Often, you might even forget who needs to be called. The ability to have an automated appointment recall system to make these calls for you is possible. Integration of this process is simple and easy. Patients can be contacted for a personalized amount of time depending if their appointments recur biweekly or annually.
Health Maintenance Alerts
Over time as the patient base grows, certain milestone tasks that need to take place can easily get pushed to the side. These include important tests or procedures that are due. For instance, certain medications require patients to get blood work done periodically to ensure that their medication is working with their body properly. An amazing way to keep patients aware of these necessary updates, is to use a program that automatically alerts your practice and the patients of health maintenance.
Although new technology may seem daunting and more time consuming then current practices, incorporating these programs into your practice is something you will not regret. Patients will be more likely to show up to appointments on time lessening the backflow of appointments. These programs promote patient awareness for their own medical needs. In addition, implementing these programs is a time saver for front desk staff, allowing them to dedicate more time to tasks of greater importance. Systems such as Patient hook helps close the gab between scheduling the “online appointment” and the reminder part.