Tackling No-Shows

Tackling No-Shows

When patients miss appointments, it not only can have a negative impact on their health, but it can also have a negative impact on your small healthcare practice’s bottom line in the form of missed revenues. Indeed, some sources estimate that no-shows could cost a single physician more than $150,000 a year in lost revenues and labor costs.

While it may be impossible to eliminate no-shows all together, appointment reminders can help reduce them. For small businesses, however, making individual calls to patients to confirm appointments can be a time-consuming process that diminishes staff efficiency. Fortunately, there are a number of automated appointment-reminder solutions available that can help small practices reduce no-shows, connect with patients, improve efficiency and trim operating costs. Here are a few to consider:

Patient Prompt Practice
Designed to meet the needs of small business practices with fewer than six providers and a range of specialties, this patient communication tool provides voice, text and email appointment reminders. Smart Calling Technology aims to reduce the number of call attempts necessary to confirm patient appointments by recognizing whether an actual person or voice mail has been reached and remembering the last time of day a patient was successfully reached and calling again at that time, while the real-time reporting feature updates your existing scheduler of confirmations within a few minutes. No contract is required and there is a 14-day free trial available. Contact the company for pricing.

With this solution from Talksoft, medical offices can remind patients of appointments via voice calls, email, text messaging and a mobile app. Emphasizing a personal approach, RemindMe displays the practice’s phone number in the caller ID, utilizes a customized message in a practice staff member’s voice and includes an option to forward calls to the office to address patients’ additional needs. RemindMe is defaulted to attempt three calls a day and works with existing scheduling systems. There is a free trial available and the cost structure is a monthly subscription fee based on usage. Contact the company for pricing.

In addition to providing automated phone, email and text-message appointment reminders, this solution can also be used to alert patients of past-due bills. The system allows patients to be connected to a staff member at your practice and comes with a built-in scheduling utility. After an initial setup fee of $99.95, the service costs $149.95 per month for up to 1,000 reminder messages, with additional messages costing 12.5 cents each.

This service-based phone, text and email reminder solution features customized, professionally recorded messages and works with any scheduler. In addition to appointment reminders, capabilities include no-show follow-ups, wellness messages, balance-due messages and weather closing alerts. Prices are 10 cents for each appointment for a volume of 3,000 appointments a month or fewer, with reduced rates available for more appointment-booking volume. No contract is required and the company offers a 60-day free trial.

If you are looking for a way to reduce no-shows while maintaining office staff productivity, it is a good time to consider an automated appointment reminder system.

Lotus Abrams, Studio One editor, is a New York City-based writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience working with content about small businesses and technology for such publications as American Salon, Macworld and Potentials.

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