Many healthcare organizations are losing lots of revenue yearly for simple mistakes. Discover the best way to increase efficiency for your organization.
How Text Appointment Reminders will Increase Your Healthcare Organization Efficiency
Nowadays, it’s hard for someone to take calls from a number you don’t know. It’s rare to find a patient finding time to listen to voicemails or read some emails that were sent. Because of that, healthcare organizations must find better ways of sending appointment reminders.
If you have not yet started sending an appointment text message to your clients, you are losing a lot of revenue. Many patients miss hospital appointments because they probably forgot about the appointment.
Because of the missed appointments, many hospitals are losing over $125k per provider year. Therefore, there is a need for healthcare organizations to find suitable ways of sending appointment reminders.
This guide presents the best trick your organization can adopt to increase efficiency and avoid revenue losses. Moreover, it has included an appointment text message sample to help you get started if you have never sent your patients’ reminder texts.
Let’s get started!
What are Patient Text Reminder Messages?
Healthcare organizations use patient text reminder messages to reduce no-shows rates. A text reminder message is sent directly to a patient’s cell phone, and they can quickly view them without being connected to the internet.
Text reminder messages are always short and easy to read. Thus, they can easily reduce costs and time spent calling and mailing clients. Moreover, text reminder messages have proved to be more effective in reducing the high rates of missed appointments
Why Your Healthcare Organization Must Adopt Text Appointment Reminders
In most cases, 88% of healthcare appointments are made by phone. Although a phone call is fast, many patients prefer text to any form of appointment reminder. This indicates that the commonly used ways of sending appointment reminders are a thing of the past, and patients prefer texts.
Many healthcare organizations not using any kind of reminder have witnessed no-shows in high numbers, leading to revenue and other resources being wasted. Therefore, using text appointment reminders is a better way of increasing the efficiency of your healthcare organization.
Some of the main reasons why many healthcare organizations are adopting text appointment reminders include the following:
1. Text reminders are helping healthcare organizations recover revenue
When a patient misses an appointment, your healthcare organization is disadvantaged. First, other patients miss the opportunity, and your patient satisfaction is reduced. Thus, sending text reminders can help avoid such situations and help your healthcare organization to avoid revenue loss.
2. Text message reminders save your staff’s time
When making an appointment by phone, a single appointment reminder call can last up to eight minutes. This is a lot of time, considering you have many people in line you need to send the reminders to. Text reminders are less time-consuming because you can use templates and software to tailor a personal message for your patient. Therefore, a text reminder is a good way of saving your staff’s time and letting them attend to meaningful work.
3. Text reminders are the most effective way to communicate
Patient no-show rates in a healthcare organization have been a big issue. The traditional ways like letters, emails, and phone calls used to work, but their efficiency has reduced with time. A more effective way of sending reminders is necessary for healthcare organizations to reduce the no-show rate. Moreover, text reminders are effective because patients always see them.
Best Practices When Sending Text Appointment Reminders
The issue of no-shows has been one of the most significant reasons healthcare organizations are reducing efficiency in increasing customer satisfaction and gaining more clients. Even with the adoption of automated text reminders, the issue of no-shows has remained, making organizations lose more revenue.
It is disappointing to use text reminders and still get patients missing their appointments. If that happens to you, you are not using the best practices when sending your text reminders. You should consider the following best practices when sending text appointment reminders.
1. Ensure you Personalize Text Reminders
Personalizing text reminders will catch the attention of your patients. Nobody loves spam messages, and when you send messages without personalizing, patients may take it for some spam, and it will not catch their attention. Personalizing a message by greeting the patient by his name is an excellent way to ensure your patient reads the text message. You can also mention your organization’s name when personalizing the text reminder.
2. Request for Response
Requesting a response from your patients will increase engagement with your clients. For instance, when you send the text, finish by requesting the patient to reply with a “Y’ to confirm attendance and an “N” if they wish to cancel or reschedule. Moreover, it is essential to make the response to your request optional and not make clients feel under any pressure.
3. Ensure the Text Reminders are Concise and Clear
Nobody likes to read long messages. When you send long messages, that is overdoing it and may not increase the process’s efficiency. You must ensure the message is short and straight to the point so the patient can take a few seconds to read. Moreover, people find it boring to read long messages and, in most cases, they may ignore the text.
4. Never Send Too Many Messages
Sending your patients too many appointment reminders can be annoying sometimes. Your organization needs to ensure they stay informative without overdoing it. Ensure you send the text reminders a few times to keep them reminded but don’t overdo it.
5. Send Text Reminders at a Convenient Time
It is good to consider sending your patients reminders a good time when they are out of work. Studies have indicated a good time to send text messages is around 6 pm when they are out of work and relaxed. You may not want to wake up your patient at night to remind them of their appointment.
How to Write Appointment Text Message Reminder to Your Patients
Now that you understand the best practices when writing text reminders for your patient’s appointment, it is good to know how to write a text message. If you want your patients to read your reminder texts, you must remember the following points.
- The message needs to start by calling your patient’s name.
- The message should be short, easy to read, and to the point.
- Your text message must include appointment details like location, date, and time.
- Request your patients to confirm attendance by replying yes or rescheduling the appointment.
- Make it clear to the patient what he needs to bring. If he needs his insurance card or any paperwork, inform him.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What form of appointment reminders is efficient?
Text appointment reminders have been proven to be the most effective way of communicating with patients to reduce no-shows. Phone calls ad emails have been used before, but that is something of the past. Text appointment reminders are quick and must be read by patients, making them the best way of appointment reminders.
2. Is automated text reminder an effective way of sending patient reminders?
Yes, automated text reminders are effective only when they can personalize a text message. Some healthcare organizations have adopted automated text reminders software, but the no-shows rate is still high. To avoid such frustrations, ensure you use software that can help you personalize reminders and benefit your organization.
3. Is patient appointment text reminders HIPAA compliant?
Text reminders for healthcare appointments are HIPAA compliant. There is no reason they would not be compliant because organizations don’t share any private medical information when sending text reminders to their patients. Moreover, it is advisable to get patient consent when sending them text messages.
Sending your patients text reminders for their appointments is one of the best tricks when you want to improve the efficiency of your healthcare organization. Text reminders are the best way to remind your patients of their appointment than letters or phone calls.
The various advantages that come with using text reminders have made it to be adopted by many organizations. According to statistics, text messages can be read within three minutes of being sent. Therefore, there is no need for your company to stick to old ways of sending appointment reminders when there is a better way.
Moreover, using text reminders has helped many organizations increase their efficiency because they can easily prevent loss of revenue, increase customer satisfaction and attract more clients. If you are not yet sending appointment reminder text, this is the time.