By Stericycle Staff | Oct. 12, 2016
Your practice might think that using manual phone calls for appointment reminders is more cost-efficient than automated reminders, but the cost savings can be deceiving when you take a look at how much less effective manually calling is.
Lets examine both situations:
A member of your office staff, in between juggling patients and other priorities in the office, tries to call patients about their upcoming appointments. He or she constantly has to leave voicemail messages, and since the entire list of patients hasn’t been called by the end of the day, he or she will have to stay late to finish. All the confirmations have to be manually updated in the EHR system. Meanwhile, many patients miss their appointments because they didn’t check their voicemail. Some patients show up for their appointment unprepared, meaning they will have to be rebooked. With unprepared and absent patients, your physicians are waiting around. Your no-show rate has increased, leading to an inaccurate appointment schedule, a loss in revenues, and dissatisfied staff.
Already using automated appointment reminders, your staff comes into the office in the morning, opens up the daily report sent from the automated reminder system and sees the list of confirmed patients. He or she calls back the list of patients (provided in the report) who requested a reschedule. The patients who have confirmed were automatically updated in your EHR system, so you have an accurate appointment schedule to use, and can see at a glance who is coming in. Then your staff spends some time booking new appointments to fill the holes that have been identified, bringing in additional patients. Since your no-show rate has improved, you’ve experienced an increase in revenue, an optimized physician schedule, and happier staff.
When you’re comparing the effectiveness and efficiency of manually calling to using an automated appointment reminder system, there is really no contest. The money you save from making calls in-house will be consumed by the cost in productivity and loss in revenues from your missed appointments. With automated reminders, you can achieve an incredible return on investment, unburden your staff, and see more patients for additional revenue.
Madison Avenue Radiology used PatientPrompt’s automated appointment reminders to go from spending more than twenty hours a week calling patients, to cutting their no-show rate by more than half and improving office efficiency. Read about how they did this in our case study.