The Top Benefits of Automating Healthcare Appointment Reminders

10 Nov

As a healthcare professional, you often need to remind people to take care of their health. One way you do this is through appointment reminders. However, those reminders can take a lot of time to create, making it hard to get to other jobs that will help your practice run more smoothly. Using a texting service, you can reduce the amount of time you spend on reminders. How does a texting service work for healthcare appointments? 

Patients Receive Healthcare Reminders Quickly and Easily 

Texting is the perfect way to get in touch with many of your healthcare clients. This is because it's a fast and convenient way to communicate. Imagine the day of a patient who is about to visit your dental practice. The kids are heading to school, parents are going to work, and everyone's rushing. They need to pick up extra groceries for dinner, sign those forms, and oh yes: there's the dentist appointment tomorrow. 

In the rush of everyday life, it's easy for people to forget about an appointment. They don't always check their phone messages, and they might only log into their personal email at the end of the day. However, the majority of people have their cell phones on them at all times. Texting them a reminder to book an appointment or attend an appointment means that they get the reminder right away: the average response time for a text message is about 90 seconds.

Texting service

Preset Automated Reminders to Reduce No-Shows 

As a healthcare provider, you want to make it easier for your patients to book appointments or get to those appointments once they are booked. How do you set up a text-based reminder campaign? While you could send individual messages to each patient, it's far easier to do this through a service that is more automated.

These automated campaigns let you schedule messages according to a specified date and time. You can use them to remind people to schedule an appointment such as an annual checkup or a regular dental cleaning. You can also use them to remind people to get to their appointment. This increases participation in health care and reduces the number of no-shows.

Set the Parameters of the Text Message 

With a reminder campaign, you set the parameters of the message. You upload a list of contact phone numbers and dates and set up the campaign settings. For example, you could upload a list of people who have to schedule an appointment in the next two months, and you would set up your text message system to send out a friendly reminder of under 160 characters to encourage them to book. 

You set up your own time frames. If you find that it is most helpful to send an appointment reminder to clients 48 hours in advance, you can do that. If you want to send out a note to everyone who needs to book an annual checkup in the next few months, you can do that, or you can be more targeted to those who need to book in the next month. Learn from the experience at your own practice and use that to set up the parameters of the text campaign. 

Make Sure That You're Following the Rules 

One advantage of using a provider of text messages rather than individually texting all patients is time. An automated reminder is much less time-intensive than an individual message. Another advantage of sending reminders through a messaging service is that you can more easily follow the HIPAA rules. According to the HIPAA Journal, "there is no message accountability with SMS or IM text messages because anybody could pick up someone´s mobile device and use it to send a message." This fails to protect your clients' privacy. However, with a text messaging service, you can send much more private messages from a central system that automatically logs you off when it's not in use. This protects your patients' health information.

At EZ Texting, we want to make your work life easier. Talk with us about the possibilities that a texting service can give to your healthcare practice, and sign up for free today.

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