One of the most significant causes of patient no-shows in today's healthcare industry is the inability to manage patient recalls efficiently. This situation has become one of the biggest problems in the healthcare industry today.
Because an average one-hour appointment with a physician costs about $200, wasted or missed time-slots cost the healthcare system about $150 billion each year- while compromising adequate patient care.
Therefore, having a solid recall strategy is crucial to the financial health of your practice. Automated recall reminder solutions can streamline your workflow and make reaching out to your patients easy and practical.
As mobile devices have become accessible to most of your patients, leveraging automated messaging is an effective patient recall strategy for your practice. The technology aids in communicating between your staff and your patients while enabling personalized communication with them from your office.
But what are the inherent benefits of patient recall for your practice?
Do you know that if you don't recall certain patients, your practice could be risking potential medical malpractice issues?
For example, for a provider who has seen a patient with early indications of potentially cancerous polyps: standard protocols call for a regular re-examination of such a patient's condition. If the patient dies of colon cancer, a malpractice attorney might ask whether the provider recalls the patient as professional protocols require.
Avoiding issues arising from medical complications is one reason to take patient recalls more seriously in your practice. Here are some other benefits attached to recalling your patients;
As a medical practitioner, the primary motivation of your practice most likely involves providing people with the best healthcare service possible, with financial gains taking the backseat.
But you probably understand now that you need healthy finances to remain in business and help even more patients.
Taking patient recalls more seriously will help your practice finance by maximizing every time spent during business hours. The phrase "time is money" directly applies in this situation. Because the more time spent seeing patients and providing care, the more money your practice can accumulate.
When you make it a culture to reach out to your patients, they feel valued. Recalling your patients will make them appreciate the seriousness of their condition and value the care you are about to render to them.
Also, when you recall your patients, they feel valued and value you in return. It will make your practice their first choice when they have medical questions or healthcare needs.
When you recall your patients and educate them on why it is essential to keep their clinical appointments, they become more engaged and committed to their well-being. Also, your communication with them will show them that you are committed to their well-being.
As they feel more connected to your practice, your extra effort to recall them will make them take their appointments seriously and refer others.
They will be more poised to talk about your approach to their friends and family, especially when they get a tremendous clinical experience from your practice.
While last-minute cancellations and patient no-shows remain one of the most frustrating events healthcare practice encounters, it might continue to be your experience if you use inefficient patient recall strategies.
Broken appointments lead to stress and loss of money. However, when you optimize your patient recall system, you will be able to reduce last-minute cancellations and no-shows as you constantly communicate with them, making them understand the importance of their medical appointments.
In many cases, patients miss or fail to schedule medical appointments because of inertia that exists because they do not deem it necessary or urgent. To help them overcome this inertia, you need to create a sense of urgency in your communication with them.
You create friendly and inviting messaging with a clear call to action (CTA) that will prompt them to act and respond to your mail or text. Your communications should clearly state the steps you would like your patient to take with a touch of urgency.
A positive patient experience is crucial to attracting new patients and retaining existing ones. As is widely said in business, "Beyond the product, sell the experience." This phrase is also relevant in healthcare communications.
Showing patients you genuinely care about their well-being (not just their pockets) will establish trust and make them more disposed to respond to your calls and take their appointments seriously.
However, if they have a negative experience, they are more likely to share it on social media (injuring your practice's reputation) and seek alternative care.
Automating your recall program is the most innovative way to streamline your workflow without compromising effectiveness. First, set up your automated system, then choose a suitable technique for identifying different groups of your patients that require recalls.
You can start by asking, how often should a physician see a 70-year-old female with high blood pressure? What procedure within my practice requires follow-up? What medications need monitoring?
Then you can go on to ask, how soon can a patient get an appointment? How soon before the due date can we send the first message to the patient? Answering these questions will educate how you set up your automation system.
By automating your recall program, you save yourself time and resources to ensure that patients receive the best care possible. Also, using automated patient recall solutions provides confidence, consistency, and uniformity of operations.
Automating patient recalls is a vital process for your practice. It ensures that your patients are getting the necessary care and treatment, but it also frees up your staff's time to focus on other tasks.
By automating patient recalls, you can improve your practice's efficiency and ensure that your patients receive the best possible care.