Reminding patients that they've got an upcoming appointment or are due to set one up is standard practice for any health care provider. Whether you're part of a dentist's or doctor's office, or in another health-related field, if you forget to remind your patients, they may forget to show up. And that puts your office in jeopardy.
Reminders can take several forms, with the most traditional being postcards and calls. With so many people using email and texting now, other forms of reminders — especially postcards — may not seem as useful. They may even seem to be time-consuming but they're not, especially when you use software to handle part of the reminder process.
Designing, Printing, and Mailing Costs
One of the points against using postcards is that they cost money. You have to design them, print them, and mail them, not to mention keep checking calendars to ensure you know who needs to get them. But this is where software comes in. You can automate reminders for yourself to contact patients; you don't have to manually check a calendar each morning. And your software may even be able to send out phone reminders that play a recording with an automated or pre-recorded voice.
This may sound great until you think about having to fill out all the postcards. Fortunately, you can find software that will automatically populate postcard templates. Once you hit print and load the cardstock into the printer, you're good to go. This reduces costs as workers in the office don't need to spend a lot of time monitoring the process.
Some might say that phone calls and postcards create a privacy problem as anyone can see the card in the mail or hear the message on voicemail if they have the password or if the "voicemail" is an old answering machine. They have a point, but texts and emails aren't totally private, either. There's always the risk of hacking, and anyone with access to the texts or emails — including people who received the communications by mistake — can still see them. You just have to decide on which reminder system works best for your specific clientele.
Not Everyone Wants Texts or Emails
One more issue is that not everyone wants texts or emails. Sometimes they can't really receive them, such as people who use "dumbphones" on a limited texting plan. Maybe someone is dealing with a lot of spam emails and has spam filters set to a high level. A postcard is more likely to get their attention, and it gives them something to pin to the fridge as a reminder.
If you're looking for ways to make sending out reminders easier and cheaper, get software that can harvest dates from your appointment system and make calls automatically. Look for card templates that you can print yourself. The time savings alone from those tasks will make the reminder process go more smoothly. For help in choosing what reminder system works best for your needs, turn to a healthcare appointment reminder software provider today.