Effectiveness of Patient Recall Methods
If your practice depends on repeat businesses, patients who miss appointments can severely affect both scheduling and your bottom line. You may have a system in place to recall these patients and get them back onto the schedule, but these methods are not always effective. When looking at time and money, certain reactivation strategies work better than others.
Phone Calls by Staff
You may feel like having a member of your staff call to reschedule will get the best results, and provide a personal touch. Unfortunately, this method has a number of flaws. First of all, it takes the staff member away from doing other things that could be better for the business. Secondly, most calls go straight to voicemail because most of the recipients are at work and are unable to answer.
Sending a reminder postcard in the mail costs money and time. Not only does it take pricey postage, but it also takes a staff member to fill them out and mail them. Plus, with the amount of junk mail that people receive, there is a good chance that the patient won’t even look at your correspondence.
Future Appointment Scheduling
It may seem like a great idea to schedule a future appointment while the patient is there for a current one. While this may work for visits a couple of weeks out, it is not productive for visits that are months or a year away, as people don’t usually know their schedule and they end up missing the appointment anyways.
A new method for the recall process that has shown to be effective is using an automated system. These notifications can be sent via emails, phone calls, or text messages; whichever your patients prefer.
According to Televox.com, automated messages give a personal touch, while being fast, accurate, and cost-conscious. They also have a much higher response rate, as they can be delivered at times when more people are available. If rescheduling missed appointments has become an issue, consider trying automated messages.