Automated Patient Appointment Reminders

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With today’s continuing downward pressure on reimbursements for health care providers, practices must improve efficiently to reduce costs.

Missed appointments can significantly impact the bottom line and therefore many practices call their patients to remind them of their upcoming appointment. While this is important to help reduce no shows, there is a significant cost to the practice in payroll and time. Calling all patients takes hours of staff time daily!

One way to reduce these costs is to automate. There are systems that can interface with the Practice Management System to pull upcoming appointments and then automatically call them. The practice then receives a report on who was successful contacted and if they responded that they were coming in for their appointment.

We’ve recently implemented this system at two practices. Between the two practices, they see about 120 patients per day, which translated into 4+ hours per day of staff time to try to reach all the patients. with an average of 21 days per month that is close to 90 hours of staff time. The total cost for this solution was $450 per practice to implement and a recurring charge of $45/month for one and $80 per month for the other.

Based upon the above numbers, I can’t understand why all busy practices would not implement such a system. Not only is there a potential to reduce staff for under $100 per month, or even better, the staff member freed up from this boring task can now be utilized to improve the patient’s experience or to do other productive work. This is just one example of how technology can help to reduce costs, there are a multitude of other possible solutions that can save costs and improve efficiency.

Practices need to examine their processes and determine how to improve their work flow. Engage with your favorite Technology consultant and find those potential points of automation.

If your practice has found some innovative ways to use technology, please share!

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