Appointment reminder software is intended to reduce the number of missed appointments through the use of automated customer notifications. These notifications can ensure patients show up on time and allows doctors to see their patients more promptly. Plus, it provides a quick and easy resource for both patients and doctors who need to make changes in their schedules
As a medical practice, here are the top five criteria to consider when choosing which doctor appointment reminder service to utilize:
1. Know Your Options
First and foremost, when searching for the best software for your practice you have to know what options are available to you. Here are some of the best appointment reminder software on the market:
- Relatient: Relatient Doctor Reminder is created specifically for the healthcare field and is the #1 Keystone Library Automation System (KLAS) rated system. It offers appointment reminders and alerts, writebacks, 2-way chat, self-scheduling, check-ins, and more.
- Apptoto: Is fully customizable and connects to an existing calendar and address book. It allows for text and voice messages to be sent and is said to reduce the no show rate by 90% with its automated reminders.
- DoctorConnect: This is a multi-channel system that integrates with existing electronic medical records or other software. It’s designed to improve patient care, reduce no shows, increase cash flow, increase office efficiency, and improve patient satisfaction and overall reputation.
- Mend: Mend offers PredictivelQ, a patent-pending AI, that can predict no-shows or cancellations with 99% accuracy. It also offers text, email and phone call appointment reminders.
- Acuity Scheduling: Acuity is a personal assistant that works 24/7 to fill your calendar for you. It has the capability to automatically send booking confirmations or reminders and lets clients reschedule on their own.
- GoReminders: This is an all in-one appointment reminder that utilizes both texts and emails. It aims to reduce no shows, save time and money, and ensure both your staff and patients are organized — and on the same page.
These are just a few of the options that are available, but they’re a good start if you want to begin comparing them each to decide what is best for your specific needs.
2. Flexibility And Customization
When deciding on which software to use, a key factor should be how flexible and customizable it is. Look for a software that allows you, as a doctor, to choose what you will say to patients as well as when you will say (send) it.
You want to make sure that you have control over how you’re going to be able to update your patients through options like a variety of templates and freeform replies to choose from, the ability to edit messages that have been sent or delivered previously, and so on.
Customization within the system of your choice can also refer to the customizability of reports that will help you to better understand your patients’ needs. Some examples of what a good system would be capable of in regards to reports are:
- Keeping track of how many patients confirm, cancel, or reschedule their appointments
- Measure no-show trend over a period of time
- Determine optimal time frame to send messages before an appointment
- Track staff productivity relating to software use
- Track how many patients pay after receiving billing or co-pay reminders
- Provide advanced insights that can improve Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures your customer experiences and uses that to predict business growth.
Having access to all these reports can be beneficial to your patients’ happiness as well as your business’ success.
3. Conversational Messaging Capability
Especially in the technological age we are currently in, choosing a software that has some kind of messaging app is going to be very important. You’ll want to find a software that allows your patients to respond to appointment reminder messages quickly and efficiently. Whether they are confirming they’re aware of their appointment, have questions about the appointment, or want to reschedule, having a messaging capability makes doing all of those things easy, and efficient.
There are two different messaging options that are available — your typical text messaging, or a chatbot that can answer frequent questions and only alerts staff when necessary. With the text message option, any patient questions will be sent over text to your staff directly.
A step above that however, is the chatbot messaging option which can be programmed to know the answers to frequently asked questions, and when it doesn’t, that’s when it will alert a member of the staff to answer any additional questions that may come up.
4. Real Time Sync
Another important thing to keep in mind when sorting through the many doctor appointment reminder software available to you is whether or not it offers real time syncing. This real time syncing would offer two-way communication with an Electronic Health Record (EHR), which is just an electronic version of patient’s medical histories.
This feature is highly important to keeping everyone, both patients and doctors, up to date on appointment schedules. For example, if a patient decides that they need to cancel their appointment, they can do so through the system and then it will push their cancellation to the EHR without the staff having to do any additional work.
Another bonus to syncing with the EHR is that it will import other patient information like their preferred language, which can be used to make sure patients receive their messages and reminders in the correct language.
As with any business investment, when selecting which software to buy it is important to read reviews from those who have used the software, as you will learn beneficial information this way. Not only will you be able to see reviews from fellow doctors or medical practices, but you’ll also be able to see what patients who’ve had to use the software themselves thought of it.
When reading through reviews, here are a few questions to keep in mind:
- Does the software work?
- How user friendly is the software?
- Does it significantly improve workflow?
- Are appointment reminders sent out correctly?
- Is the support staff attached to the system friendly and organized?
- How helpful is the software’s customer service?
Why Is This Software Important?
There are many reasons why medical practices should be utilizing appointment reminder software. Here are a few reasons why:
- Efficient Communication
On average, adults spend around 4 hours a day on their phone. With this being the case, communicating over cell phones can be the most efficient way to do so. By replacing appointment cards with appointment reminders via cell phone, you’re saving both office time and money, as well as creating an easy and open line of communication.
- Better Communication with No Shows
Automated appointment reminders allow your staff to communicate with patients who have missed an appointment by reminding them they did in fact miss it, and then encouraging them to reschedule, all through your smart phone or computer.
- Happier Staff
This reminder system will take some of the work load off of your staff. Instead of making individual phone calls to remind patients of appointments of owed bills, staff can now accomplish the same task with a few clicks of a keyboard. Plus, relieving the staff of this task frees them up to focus on more important tasks.
- Improved Patient Satisfaction
Reminding each patient of their upcoming appointment will remind patients that they are valued. With each interaction, you’re improving your patient’s overall satisfaction and will make them more likely to come back.
And, as an added bonus, many of these software allow you to send out surveys or ask for feedback on how the quality of service they received was without the pressure of doing so while still in the office.
- Save Time and Money
It’s not unsurprising that when medical practices experience no-shows, that creates a loss in revenue. But, a simple way to avoid these no shows is to provide up-to-date messages reminding patients both of appointments and bills that are owed.
Not only can you potentially save money by reducing the number of no-shows, but there will be less of a chance that patients will forget or skip any of their bill payments when they have a simple system reminding them of those bills.
- Patients Will Be Healthier
Since patients are used to using their phones everyday as it is, allowing them to take responsibility for their health and appointments through a simple app will only serve to improve their health.
The easier it is for your patients to access you through open communication, the more seriously they will take you as their provider and be more likely to be responsible with their healthcare needs.
Purchasing doctor appointment reminder software can be a great investment for your medical practice, but only when you purchase the best one for your business.
Once you’ve chosen the best software for your needs, you can begin to utilize the benefits it provides to expand your business and ensure your patients are being kept in the loop with their medical needs at all times.