Automated Reminders: How This Medical Answering Service Keeps Your Scheduled Appointments

Health & Medical Blog

Your busy schedule is based on how full your appointment books are and how regularly those appointments are kept by your patients. Some patients can forget they even have an appointment and not show up, which complicates things for you and other patients who want to come in sooner than their previously scheduled dates. To make everything run smoother, you should invest in an automated medical answering service, specifically one that reminds all patients a day or two before their scheduled appointments that they have an appointment. Here is how it works.

How Digital Answering and Automated Reminders Work

For a system to keep track of patients' upcoming appointments and effectively auto-dial them with reminders, the system you use has to be connected to your patient data files. When your administrative assistants leave each night, they can click on a few buttons on the computer screen that sets up the auto-reminder program for two days ahead. (Your system can also auto-dial reminders one day ahead if your staff sets up the system early in the morning so that all of the next day's appointments are reminded before lunch on that day.) The data that is extrapolated by the auto-reminder program is limited to patient's name, time of appointment and primary phone number on file.

The system then auto-dials every patient that is scheduled one to two days ahead of their appointment, addressing them by name, announcing the health organization or doctor using the automated messaging service, and reminding each patient of the day, date and time of his or her appointment. Additional features built into some of these automated reminder services include the option to have patients respond to the message by pressing a number to cancel the appointment or confirm the appointment. By giving your patients the option to confirm or cancel the appointment via this method, you can open up areas in your schedule for other patients or establish a solid work schedule for the next couple of business days.

What Happens When the System Kicks Back Cancellation Information

The system records which patients have cancelled their appointments. It compiles a list of patients who will need to be contacted by your administrative staff the next morning to reschedule. It acts as both an automated reminder service and as an automated medical answering service by first reminding patients that they have appointments, and then recording their responses to the reminders so that you know whether or not they are coming to their appointments and that they received the reminders without tying up your staff's valuable office time.

For more information about how these systems can benefit your office, contact a medical answering service in your area.


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