People are busy, and sometimes that doctor’s appointment just didn’t make it into the calendar. Forgetting an appointment is an easy and common thing to do, but medical providers want to cut down on these missed appointments and repeated no shows. In order to do this, hours are spent each week calling patients to remind them of an upcoming visit – but there’s an easier way! Your medical office staff can use SMS software to automatically send these appointment reminders to patients, saving time and energy from endless phone calls.
5 Benefits of Automated Text Reminders
Improve Office Efficiency
Your office probably has employees who spend a chunk of each day on the phone calling patients or leaving voicemails. You can save them time that they can spend on other tasks by automating text reminders instead of the calls. You can automate appointment reminders so that they automatically send to patients on a certain schedule ahead of their appointment times. You can even set it up so they can confirm, reschedule, or cancel with the text reminder as well, so your team’s efficiency can be improved and time can be spent on other patient care or office related tasks.
Enhance Patient Relationships
A quick text allows your medical providers to stay in contact with patients leading up to and following their appointments. Automated reminders can also include instructions for patients regarding how to cancel or reschedule if that appointment time no longer works for them. It makes the entire process simple – they know when their appointment is so they can come in or they can reschedule with a click of a button. You can send reminders a week or two in advance and the week of the appointment, with information on what they should do to prepare (for example, if they will be having a blood test and need to fast, you can include that in the reminder).
Improve Patient Health
If a patient forgets about an appointment that they need for prescription renewal or ongoing care, their health can suffer. Reduce the chances that a patient no shows for their appointment and instead gets the care they need by sending a reminder text ahead of their appointment time. For some appointments, patients may have scheduled these months ago and forgotten to put it in their calendar. A short text can remind them of it so they won’t miss critical medical check ups or follow ups that keep them healthy.
Improve Patient Satisfaction
Patients don’t want to miss their appointments (especially when there is a no show fee). But if you have staff that spend hours calling patients about appointment reminders, those staff members know that many people just don’t answer. It can go even further, though. Patients may have “Silence Unknown Callers” turned on, so your calls go straight to voicemail… and then they don’t check their voicemail box or it’s full so your office can’t even leave a message. By sending a text instead, people are more likely to read the message when it’s convenient to them. Texts are nearly always read, so your patient will see the appointment reminder.
Personalize Messages to Patients
You can personalize your messages to patients with automated texting. You can send messages for scheduling an annual check up, remind them of needed medical tests ahead of an appointment, or tell them what to bring to their next visit (like a list of current medications). In your texting service account, you will be able to create a library of templated content so that staff members can populate a message to patients with an upcoming visit with a click of the button. Messages can be edited for even further personalization, or automated so that certain messages are scheduled for certain types of appointments. You can even use text messages with patients to follow up after appointments, procedures, or tests to check in on how they are doing, how it went, and if they have any questions about their care.
Types of Messages for Patient Reminders
If you are interested in sending messages to patients, there are a few types of messages you can send. The first is the standard appointment reminder. It might look something like:
- Hello, you have an appointment at MEDICAL CENTER on DATE at TIME.
You can take that one step further by saying:
- Hello, you have an appointment at MEDICAL CENTER on DATE at TIME. Please reply yes to confirm or call NUMBER to reschedule.
Beyond that, you can include some information on what patients should bring and what they can expect at their appointment.
- Hello, you have an appointment at MEDICAL CENTER on DATE at TIME. Please bring your insurance card and a list of current medications. Reply yes to confirm or call NUMBER to reschedule.
- Hello, you have an appointment at MEDICAL CENTER on DATE at TIME. Access your lab slip at the patient portal and have your blood work done one week prior to your appointment. Reply yes to confirm or call NUMBER to reschedule.
You can also use texting to follow up after the appointment with a survey about patient care, a reminder about their next appointment or prescription medication, or a general follow up about their health with a contact number if they have further questions.
- Hello, thank you for visiting MEDICAL CENTER today. If you have any questions, please call NUMBER to speak with a nurse or doctor’s assistant.
Increase Patient Care with TxtSquad Automated Reminders
If you want to improve the patient experience and increase care at your medical facility, while saving your office staff time and frustration on leaving unanswered voicemails, SMS appointment reminders might be the way to go. Automated text reminders help people remember their appointments and show up on time more often, so that your staff can help keep patients healthier and happier. TxtSquad can help doctor’s offices, dental practices and other healthcare facilities engage their patients and bring them back through the door for follow up appointments. Book a demo to see these automated reminders in action.