As the healthcare market becomes more competitive, providers must do everything they can to increase patient satisfaction while also growing their practice. Automating patient communications is an easy and efficient way to improve patient experience and can positively impact your bottom line without adding more work for your staff. In fact, 87% of practices that deliver reminders through automated channels handle the entire day’s reminders in less than one hour. Still on the fence about switching to automated notifications? Here are five signs that it’s time to make a move:
Your patients expect convenience.
Connecting with busy, on-the-go patients can be challenging and time consuming. Automated patient communications allow patients to receive and respond to your message at their convenience in their preferred channel: phone call, text message or email. Allow patients to choose the method through
which you communicate with them and you will see patient responses and satisfaction rates improve.
If your practice is predominantly focused on attracting new patients, you may be neglecting your existing patient base and putting your practice at risk of losing them. Recalling “lost” patients with automated wellness reminders could uncover and engage a large population of patients that simply forgot to schedule their next appointment. Additionally, giving patients an opportunity to give feedback outside of the practice with automated surveys could reveal an underlying service or process problem that may be costing you business.
Your schedule is booked solid.
Though a full schedule is every practice’s dream, it also creates a delay for patients requesting immediate care, which can lead to them going elsewhere for faster service. Automated appointment reminders will consistently provide patients with ample time to cancel or reschedule. If everyone confirms their appointment as scheduled, then great! But when patients cancel or need to reschedule, you can take use the advance notice of those cancellations to move waitlisted patients up in your schedule, improving satisfaction and loyalty.
You are located in an area susceptible to extreme weather.
Unexpected office closings and the resulting rescheduling of appointments can be quite a headache. Automated notifications safeguard patients affected by an unexpected closing from the dissatisfaction, confusion and sometimes risk of coming to the office when you are closed. An automated notification system with on-demand and customizable messaging allows you to communicate with patients quickly, as well as provide additional information such as your plans for rescheduling to help reduce an influx of calls once you reopen.
Your staff spends too much time calling patients.
Using valuable staff time making phone calls is inefficient and expensive and leads to inconsistent results. In fact, the 75% of practices that say they do not consistently deliver appointment reminders to patients point to a lack of staff time as the key reason. Automating your patient notifications frees up your staff, allowing them to focus on in-office patients.
Click HERE to learn why more and more practices have adopted automated communication tools to better connect with their patients!
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.