By Kelsey Musick | Sep. 05, 2018

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Imagine a world without appointment reminders. No-show rates are higher than ever, in-house staff is inefficient because they are spread too thin, and missed opportunities pile up one after the other. Patients rarely show up to appointments because they don’t remember scheduling them, in-house staff is too busy to assist patients because they are preoccupied manually sending appointment reminders, and opportunities to improve patient experiences are missed because you aren’t allowing your organization to receive important feedback.

With increased no-show rates, you lose revenue, adding to the $150 billion that patient no-shows cost the healthcare industry annually. Your staff grows dissatisfied and frustrated due to their inefficiency. Your appointment schedule develops inaccuracies and patient experiences suffer. And the gap between your organization and its patients continues to expand. That is a world without automated appointment reminders.

But, hopefully, your organization doesn’t live in that world. More so than ever, the world is technology-dependent, and a mailed reminder letter just doesn’t cut it anymore. Now, people rely heavily on automated appointment reminders sent via text, voice call, or email. And if your healthcare organization isn’t providing these options, patient experiences aren’t being optimized, and your organization is risking a world like the one described. But with the help of a third-party communication partner, you can bridge the gap between your organization and its patients.

Many organizations offer one or two communication channels, but not all three. Offering text, voice call, and email helps patients remember their scheduled appointments and allows in-house staff to direct their attention to more pressing matters. Providing diverse communication platforms benefits not only your patients, but your organization as well. Consumers usually have a strong preference to at least one of the three communication channels, so having multiple will increase your odds of connecting.

The desire for online and automated means of communication is rapidly increasing – especially with millennials, which are typically more tech-savvy than older generations. People are busy and forgetful, and often tend to overbook themselves. Automated appointment reminders are a key solution to solving this problem. The optimal patient experience includes consistent and flexible solutions that are both human and technology-enabled. If the human side of it – such as manually-answered phone calls – is not supported by the technology-enabled side, your organization is likely not meeting its efficiency potential. Providing a digital experience is key to driving patient loyalty.

Improving patient experiences using automated messaging will help enhance your organization in numerous ways. We can help you connect with patients and keep them engaged. Review our Automated Messaging Solutions Service Highlight to learn more. 

Kelsey Musick

Author: Kelsey Musick

Kelsey Musick is a Marketing Associate for Stericycle Communication Solutions. She creates and edits content while finding new and inventive ways to market the Stericycle brand. She is a Purdue University graduate with a degree in English. In addition to writing, Kelsey enjoys attending theatre productions, reading, and traveling.