Automating appointment reminder messages to your patients is a no-brainer. These routine communications are perfect for electronic delivery, saving big bucks on mailed postcards and hours of staff time spent calling patients only to reach busy signals or “no answers”. In fact, the practices MGMA classifies as “better performers” are 48% more likely to be currently using an automated call system to remind patients of appointments.
These same leading practices are now applying that technology to other patient outreach efforts. If your practice is stuck delivering only appointment reminders to patients, here are five ideas you should consider:
- Patient Balance Notifications
It’s a great way to connect with patients early in the delinquency cycle, especially when the staff has trouble finding time to touch a high volume of accounts. Deliver a quick automated notification that gives patients the ability to immediately transfer and make payment. Alegent Health Clinic in Omaha, NE collects $74 for every $1 they invest in this type of outreach – that’s a 55% improvement over their previous mail-only collections efforts!
- Recall Reminders
Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons in Kent, OH found that automated notifications are perfect for getting patients to book their recall visit. When compared to their old method of sending postcards to these patients, the automated messages performed 104% better. And it’s much less expensive.
- Preventive Care Messages
This is somewhat along the same lines as recall reminders – just getting patients back into the office for their next visit. Scottsdale Medical Imaging tested this technology for deliver annual mammogram reminders, and the results were outstanding. They estimated that 20% of patients contacted scheduled an exam – a $240,000 annual revenue impact. Do you have similar outreach opportunities with your patients?
- Pre-Treatment Outreach
Shelly Eichoff of Veil Orthodontics in Minnesota mentions the power of automated outreach in scheduling appointments with younger patients who aren’t quite ready to begin treatment. This outreach keeps the youngsters and their parents in continual contact with the practice, ensuring they aren’t “lost” before they are able to start treatment.
- Promoting Practice Events
Eichoff also shares the value of automated outreach in promoting fun in-office contests or events. Veil Orthodontics invites its patients to a “Movie Day”, while other practices use similar notifications to promote other patient appreciation events, Halloween candy buy-back programs and more. It’s an inexpensive way to spread the word and increase participation.
Image credit: All rights reserved by Off2OnMedia.com