Automated patient reminders are critical for practices and an EMR can handle that job, freeing staff for other, more important work. No shows, cancelations and rescheduled appointments interrupt the normal flow of patients and result in lost revenue.
Patients get busy and forget, but they have to know that there will be repercussions for cancelling.
Clinicians must be careful what the penalty will be, however.
Many practices charge patients at least 50 percent of the office visit cost. Patients will quickly become angry with this approach and may choose to take their business elsewhere, something that no practitioner wants.
Instead, the cancellation policy could stipulate that the patient will be required to donate $20 to a charity.
How Reminders Work
Twenty-four hours before the appointment, the EMR should send an email or text reminder to the patient.
It should address the patient by name, identify the practice, state that the message is a reminder of their appointment, and give the date and time.
If the patient wants to reschedule, they know how to contact the clinic.
Stick with the basics.
The same can be done with a phone reminder.
Patients can press one to confirm their appointment and the office does nothing. If a patient wants to reschedule or cancel, they can press two and the call will be routed to the office.
This allows the front desk to speak with them directly for patient retention.
Automating With An EMR
The In Touch EMR™ contains the ability to produce automated patient appointment reminders via email, text and phone.
Automated patient reminders prevent missed revenues and overbooking, and can be utilized to remind patients when it’s time for an annual check-up or follow up visit.
Clinicians can set reminders to notify patients about tests and other procedures that are conducted on a regular basis.
It’s just one of the ways that the In Touch EMR™ demonstrates meaningful use.