R – recalls
The term “recalls” can mean a lot of different things – follow-up appointments, annual visits, compliance screenings, etc. Regardless of how you define a recall, the most effective way to promote those visits is by automating brief notifications to your patients. How do we know?? We’ve seen the poor results from other methods. Here are four recall methods that DON’T work:
- Mailing postcards/letters – There is no way to tell if a patient received this notification, no way for the patient to take immediate action, and the cost is extremely high to prepare and fulfill this outreach.
- Manual calls from staff – This takes a ton of staff time…an average of an hour just for 20 calls! Over 80% of patients aren’t even home during the day, so these are hours spent simply leaving voicemails. Any lift you’d get from having a live staff member make the calls and interact with the patient is being lost anyway.
- Pre-appointing – Many providers preappoint their patients. This is a great idea in theory, however the majority of patients do not keep these appointments, resulting in a much too fluid schedule and much more time in rescheduling and “chasing” efforts. Additionally, for those patients who chose not to make these appointments so far in advance, what happens to them? Many times, they fall through the cracks.
- Nothing – Because of the obvious difficulties in bringing these recalled patients back in – many practices choose to do NOTHING. They leave this to the patient to manage. It doesn’t COST you anything, but you’re certainly not growing appointment volume this way. It’s just simply lost revenue and lost patient care since the majority of patients don’t comply.
If your recall strategy involves any of these elements, odds are it can be better. Look into automated messaging as a way to improve response and conserve resources through recall communication efforts.