Still sending patient appointment reminder texts manually? Automate them instead to increase staff efficiency, reduce errors, and improve the patient experience.
Forgetfulness is a common side effect of being human, and it’s one of the top reasons patients miss appointments.
Your healthcare facility likely uses some form of communication, like text messaging, to send patient appointment reminders already, and for good reason. Every missed appointment results in a loss of revenue for your practice.
To see just how much you could be missing out on, here’s a simple formula:
So if your facility averages $200 per appointment in revenue, serves 600 patients per month, and has a no-show rate of 14%, you could miss out on $14,400 per month in revenue.
If your staff is still sending those SMS appointment reminder messages manually, though, you could still be losing revenue whether the patient shows up or not. Manually sending appointment reminders or other healthcare text messages opens you up to the risk of errors, inconsistencies, and inefficiency.
Automating your text message reminders for appointments can reduce or even eliminate these risks. You can simplify the process by integrating your appointment scheduling software with a business texting platform.
Here’s why automating your reminder texts is worth the investment:
As long as the integration between your appointment scheduling software and your business texting service is set up correctly, you can rest easy knowing that patients will receive timely reminders.
While your staff can send these out manually, they’ll need to look through upcoming appointments every day and schedule the reminders one at a time. This can increase the risk of reminders falling through the cracks, which can then cause patients to miss their appointments.
Schedule your automated appointment reminders one week before and 24 hours before the appointment to give patients plenty of time to confirm, cancel, or reschedule their appointments.
With dozens or even hundreds of appointments to schedule by hand each day, your staff has less time to devote to in-office patient needs, like checking in, answering questions, and scheduling follow-up appointments.
Automated text messages also allow your staff to personalize appointment reminders at scale. They’ll save time on having to sift through patient records for information like names, appointment dates and times, facility locations, healthcare provider names, and more.
Getting appointment reminders on a consistent basis helps make your patients’ lives easier. If they forget to add the appointment to their calendar or enter the wrong time or date, the reminder text will help remedy the error well before their appointment.
If they need to cancel or reschedule, your timely text message provides them with a way to contact you on the go. The sooner you hear from them about a change in their schedule, the sooner you can fill their spot with another patient on the waiting list.
Reducing appointment no-shows also helps to improve health outcomes. When patients remember to attend appointments, they can better manage existing conditions, catch new conditions early, and prevent them in the first place.
Proactivity in managing their health can help save them money and prevent unnecessary pain in the long run.
Setting up automated appointment reminder texts doesn’t just benefit the patients that visit your office in person. They can help reduce no-shows for telehealth appointments as well.
On the day of the appointment, include the patient access link in the text message and in an email so patients can join the appointment easily via desktop or mobile.
We’ve looked at the ways automated appointment reminders can save you money and improve the patient experience, but it’s not enough to just set it and forget it.
Make sure one or more of your staff members has access to your SMS inbox and monitor it daily for patient questions and concerns. Doing so helps reduce the number of incoming phone calls your staff has to respond to and it can reinforce your practice’s reputation as responsive and caring healthcare providers.
If you don’t already have an SMS service provider that you’re satisfied with, give our platform a try. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial to preview the features.
After upgrading, you can easily set up automations between SimpleTexting and your appointment scheduling software via Zapier. We also have a dedicated Integrations team that can set up an advanced automation that’s built according to your practice’s specific needs.
Have questions about automated SMS appointment reminders? Click the blue chat button at the bottom of your screen to connect with our text messaging experts.
Dani Henion is the content team lead at SimpleTexting and is continuously looking for ways to make text messaging strategies and tips more accessible to SMBs. When she's not writing or planning new SMS content, you'll find her decorating elaborate sugar cookies or thrifting in Atlanta.More Posts from Dani Henion
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