When I was a child, every month on the dot, my dad and mom would sit down at the kitchen table. They would pull all of the monthly bills out of their “bill basket” and get to work. For the next couple of hours, I would carefully tiptoe around them trying to avoid their attention (paying bills didn’t put them in the best mood). When they were finished, they would meticulously organize and file away all important documents and files into a filing cabinet.
My children have never experienced this process. Today, every single one of my bills is paid automatically through my online bank. My checkbook sits, gathering dust, as technology takes over this distasteful task. All of my important documents are automatically saved on the cloud (and backed up on a hard drive). Not only do I save a few hours each month (and my children dodge my irritation), but I also avoid the stress that comes from completing such an unwanted job.
Technology to the rescue
Everywhere you look, technology is taking over our lives. Nowhere is that more true than in your practice. Today the majority of practices are already taking advantage of technology through the use of electronic records and e-prescriptions.
But in order to stay competitive, you should take automation even further. One of the best ways to leverage automation is through automated appointment reminders. Automating your appointment reminders will save your practice both time and money.
Automating appointment reminders boost staff efficiency and satisfaction
The staff of a busy healthcare practice does not want to spend most of their day making phone calls. And it does take time! The average practice spends around 2 hours a day calling patients. This is an extra 65 days per year in work time! Imagine the other tasks that could be completed during this time.
And what if you're having one of those "off" days? All it takes is one patient who’s running behind or one patient who didn't get called to turn a good day into a disaster. Automated appointment reminders help eliminate the “I forgot,” or “What time was that again?” issue. When your office stays on schedule, the stress level is lower. This keeps your staff and patients happier, which builds loyalty in everyone. Loyal patients are much more likely to come back!
(You can read more about ways to boost efficiency here).
Appointment reminders also save you money
No-shows are the bane of every healthcare practice. Automating your appointment reminders can help. According to one study, automated patient reminders reduce no-shows by an average of 34 percent.
Research shows that no-shows cost healthcare practices upwards of $150 billion each year. Ouch. Automated appointment reminders can put some of the money back in your pocket.
The average no-show rate varies by specialty. Here is a small sampling of some industry averages.
- Dental: 10 percent
- Outpatient: 16 percent
- Primary care: 18 percent
- Dermatology: 26 percent
- Obstetric: 30 percent
- Mental health: 37 percent
Cutting those numbers by a third through automated appointment reminders can have a substantial impact on your bottom line.
Automated patient reminders offer cost savings, time savings, and a higher level of efficiency for your office. Patients appreciate the reminder, and the convenience of receiving messages when it’s convenient to them.
Want to know more about how to use appointment reminders the RIGHT way? Check out our free ebook.