Patient reminders? Delegate them!

Various Patient Groups Prefer Different Appointment Reminder Types
Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Of course the computer today is a ubiquitous instrument; it’s very simply found everywhere. Hospitals, of course, use it to give their patients an automatic appointment reminding message. This practice has many benefits but probably the best of all its benefits is that medical appointment reminding messages have virtually halted all patient “”Did Not Attends”.” This is, of course, highly pleasing to hospitals that can make new appointments instead of having an empty room because of that particular no-show. There are in actuality three different kinds of appointment reminders, and these are the email, SMS, or telephone.

Email reminders. Your computer can send out emails to patients whose appointments are coming up. Emails are easy to input personal information into. For instance, each email should give a salutation from the office staff, followed by a description of the name of the person who has the appointment, the exact appointment date, and the time. Email reminders should also include a phone number or site address if the patient wishes to change the appointment. Personalized information from your custom database (such as the name of the person, appointment type and length of time) can be included in your appointment reminders. Many younger people frequently check their emails all day and into the evening, and thus prefer getting these reminders as emails, which also make it easy to respond to if they cannot honor the appointment.

SMS reminders: These are in actuality text message reminders that send text ordinarily between cell phones. SMS stands for Short Message Service, and they are sent to Web phones or what’s known as smart phones such the iPhone, Black Berries, or any number of mobile phone technology. Basically it a short message because most messages are limited to a grand total of 160 characters, thus all the personalization that is listed in the email reminder will be consequently absent from an SMS reminder, other than the name of the medical practitioner, or the clinic name, the date and time of the appointment and perhaps the name of the patient. Young people are extremely fond of these SMS reminders, and they often spend hours texting each other and therefore are frequently referred to as the “thumb generation” as the typing is done on the tiny numerical pads. The younger the patient, the more likely they will prefer a SMS appointment reminder.

Telephone reminders: Because this is the way that they grew up, the elderly generation prefers telephone reminders over and above SMS reminders or email. Unfortunately for them a phone call used for an appointment reminder is getting very rare. No longer are there live persons spending most of their day on the phone making sure that someone remembers their appointment. Live persons must spend a terrific amount of time redialing numbers where there is no answer, which does not happen with email or SMS. That also means that after the workday is done, a live person goes home, but instead if a computer is utilized for the reminders, then at least they’ll keep trying the number until they reach someone at home.

Therefore any medical office should plan on using all three methods of appointment reminder types. As you can see, the length of the appointment reminder besides the age of the person receiving the reminder will call for one of the three and not just one or two different types.


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