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5 Effective Appointment Reminder Scripts to Reduce No-Shows

Appointment reminder scripts help your staff work more efficiently and reduce no-shows. Read on for tips and example scripts.

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If you’re in the healthcare business, you know how important it is to get patients to show up for their appointments. Otherwise, it’s a no-win situation for everyone involved.

When patients miss their appointments:

  • You lose time and miss out on guaranteed revenue.
  • Your staff members leave important tasks pending to play phone tag with the patient.
  • The patient loses the opportunity to get better soon.

On the other hand, making appointment confirmation and reminder phone calls lowers no-shows, increases revenue and office productivity, and improves patient engagement and satisfaction.

What Is an Appointment Confirmation Phone Call?

An appointment confirmation phone call involves a human (or automated system) reminding the patient of their incoming appointment over the phone. Think of it as a polite reminder to help patients recall the appointments they made with your business.

The Benefits of Making Appointment Reminder Calls

In today’s world, the ongoing pressures of daily life and information overload make it easier for patients to forget. In fact, studies suggest the average human brain forgets 50% of information within an hour, 70% in 24 hours, and 90% in a week.

Clearly, we all need a little help with remembering.

If you need more motivation to make appointment reminder calls, here are some key advantages:

Improved Office Productivity

You likely have your staff reaching out to patients who are late for their appointments. This takes up a significant amount of time that they could have spent on more productive tasks.

Appointment confirmation and reminder calls help streamline patient appointment scheduling and ensure their upcoming appointment is on top of patients’ minds. Instead of wasting time tracking down patients, your staff members (and you) can focus on more productive office tasks.

Reduced No-Shows

The common reason for no-shows is the patient forgetting they have an appointment or that they cannot make it because of an emergency. Either way, this costs you time and money.

Appointment reminder phone calls help reduce no-shows, reminding patients to clear their schedule for upcoming sessions. If they cannot make their appointment, they can reschedule for another day, giving you enough time to schedule another patient and avoid revenue loss. 

Greater Patient Engagement

Appointment reminders make it more likely for patients to make their appointments. In turn, this will make them more engaged and actively involved in taking care of themselves and scheduling follow-up visits.

Increased Revenue

Reduced no-shows, increased office productivity, and greater patient engagement contribute to more revenue for your business. Otherwise, you’ll have holes in your schedules that cause revenue loss. Appointment reminders help fill these gaps.

How an Appointment Reminder Script Helps

There’s a thin line between helpful, polite appointment reminders your patients appreciate and forceful, downright annoying messages they dislike. Following an appointment reminder script ensures your phone reminders favor the former side.

Here’s how:

  • An appointment reminder script keeps your message consistent. Regardless of whether you’re a team of one or ten, your healthcare business’s approach towards patients will be consistent and polite.
  • With an appointment reminder script in hand, your staff is less likely to go off on a tangent or have awkward silences. You’ll have specific talking points laid out, with a clear beginning, middle, and end, making the phone call short and to the point.
  • An appointment reminder script can help reduce friction for your staff, who likely already have full workloads. 

Appointment Reminder Script Best Practices

Appointment confirmation scripts and reminder templates work best when keep them professional yet personal.

Here are a few best practices to help you maximize your impact:

Never Forget to Personalize

Personalization is important for all kinds of marketing, and appointment confirmations and reminders are no exception. Start by using your patient’s correct name (you can also add formal titles and last names) to let them know the appointment is for them and make them feel valued.

Introduce Yourself Properly

Just because a patient has booked an appointment with you doesn’t mean they’ll remember you or your practice’s name from the phone call alone. Always introduce yourself and your medical office’s name, so the patient can easily recognize you and will be less likely to dismiss your calls.

Mention and Confirm Important Details

Be sure to include vital information, even if they’re an existing patient. This includes the date, time, location, and details of what to bring (for example, you can remind them to carry an important document or a face mask).

Use a Friendly Tone

The good thing about appointment confirmation phone calls is you can make them sound more personable and friendly. Always use a professional and polite tone, and remember: whatever you say reflects your brand.

5 Sample Appointment Confirmation Call Scripts

An appointment confirmation phone call is only as good as the script it uses. Here are five appointment confirmation call scripts applying the above best practices you can steal:

1. Hello, this is (Staff Member’s First Name) at (Clinic’s Name) calling to confirm an appointment for (Patient’s Full Name) on (Date) at (Time) with (Doctor’s Full Name). Will you be able to make your appointment? If you need to reschedule, please let me know at your earliest convenience. Thank you!”

2. “Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening, this is (Nurse’s First Name) calling from (Clinic’s Name). I am (Doctor’s Full Name)’s nurse and want to confirm your appointment on (Date) at (Time). Does this time still work for you?”

3. “Hi (Patient’s Name), your appointment for (Date) at (Time) with (Doctor’s Full Name) is confirmed. Please arrive 10 minutes early before your appointment as you’ll have to register at the reception. You’ll also need to carry your (Required Documents and Reports). We look forward to seeing you!”

4. “Hi, (Patient’s Name). This is a friendly reminder call regarding your appointment tomorrow at (Time) with (Doctor’s Full Name) at (Clinic’s Name), located at (Clinic’s Address) If you need to make any changes to your appointment, please call us at (Office Number). Thank you!”

5. “Hello, this is (Staff Member’s First Name) at (Clinic’s Name). We’re calling to remind (Patient’s Name) that they are due for their (Routine Checkup Name/Appointment Reason). I just want to confirm if you’d be able to make your appointment on (Date) at (Time) with (Doctor’s Full Name). Please let me know if you would like to reschedule at a later date.”

…Or Your Can Send Appointment Reminder Texts

If making phone calls sounds tedious, consider sending appointment text reminders to patients. With texts averaging at a 98 percent open rate, they’re also more likely to read a text than reply to an email or pick up a phone call. 

Things get even better: With SimpleTexting, you can automate your appointment reminders to send the right message at the right time to patients, thanks to our massive library of integrations. Try our platform free for 14 days to see how easy automating appointment reminder texts can be.

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