Best Practices: Automated Appointment Reminders for Healthcare

Missed your appointment?

That’ll be $50, please.

No-shows and late arrivals are common problems for many healthcare service providers. They create gaps in scheduling, reduce revenue, and make it difficult to run an efficient practice.

Many doctors are turning to no-show fees to try to reduce the number of patients showing up late, or not showing up at all. On the one hand, it makes sense: missed appointments alone cost the U.S. economy an estimated $150 billion each year. But punishing your patients isn’t the correct answer either. Instead, communicate more with patients prior to their appointment through automated appointment reminders and confirmations to make sure they show up, without any heavy lifting on you or your staff. You can easily set-up customized appointment reminders for your healthcare practice using these tips and tricks.

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Automate Appointment Communication

According to a survey we did in 2015 that looked at 178,000 random messages:

Automated messaging and reminder systems for appointments reduced no-shows by nearly 50% across all providers.

That no-show reduction translates to huge pay gains, simply by having more people show up for your services.

Increase the Effectiveness of Your Reminders

We also identified several other best practices for doctor appointment confirmations.

Appointment confirmations made via phone, email, or SMS were 90% reliable (i.e. only 10% were rescheduled.)

SMS messaging is the most reliable channel for delivering appointment reminders. Texts get a 30% reply rate for appointment confirmations vs. 23% for phone calls and 12% for emails.

Reminders sent via SMS at 6 p.m. the day prior to the appointment worked best, with only a 6.5% reschedule rate.

Personalized messages that focus on the importance of the appointment and/or provided critical details like directions and parking information perform better than generic messages.

We analyzed millions of healthcare appointment reminders to create The Complete Guide to Appointment Reminders. It’s filled with best practices to help you create a patient reminder strategy that works!

Refer to the Apptoto ebook