According to the Department of Health, about one in ten scheduled hospital appointments are missed in a year. These results to an expected loss of millions of dollars as well as the delay of healthcare of patients affected. The government has reportedly encouraged hospitals to find ways to drive their numbers up. Hence, appointment reminders have become quite popular options.
Some hospitals and other healthcare facilities send reminder messages to their patients via the methods preferred. So patients can get the reminder messages via email, text and/or phone calls. A combination of two or more of these methods can also be arranged as long as consent was given beforehand.
Why Patients Miss Appointments
There are various reasons why patients miss appointments but the most popular would be: emergencies, other commitments and simple cases of forgetfulness. However, all three can be resolved with the right choice of appointment reminders software.
Since appointments are set a few days before, there is no knowing what would happen in the days in between. Emergencies at work could happen that could result in you missing an appointment. Patients finding a better deal at another facility even after confirming an appointment also go against the revenue of the clinic. But in a majority of no-show cases, the culprit is the case of forgetfulness.
Representatives of the health industry say that it is very important that people start to realize the importance of showing up on scheduled appointments. Patient care should not be delayed especially if pre-existing conditions have been noted. Doctors’ and nurses’ time are also very important because instead of waiting for you to show up, they could be attending to other patients instead.
There may be genuine reasons for not showing up on appointments, it is vital that the facility be informed. All appointment reminders sent out can be linked to a live representative who can cancel appointments or even reschedule them for you. In other cases, the system will make the changes without requiring manual intervention.
Even if you have just realized that you cannot make it on the day of the appointment, you should still call. Calling can enable the front-desk staff to decide whether to give your spot to a walk-in patient or not. That way, no one’s time gets wasted, the clinic earns and the walk-in patient gets to have his or her health assessed.
Doctors Thank “Healthy Move”
The encouragement and reminder coming from the Department of Health is considered a “healthy move” by doctors. Doctors say that it is high time that the general public be reminded that the state of their health is a shared responsibility between them and their practitioners.
Meanwhile, healthcare facilities have become more creative in terms of the means that appointment reminders are sent. Some use Skype while others use office automation systems that include automated reminders.
Automated appointment reminders usually have upfront costs but are highly effective in terms of securing information and sending reminders on schedule. No matter the software of choice, it remains that the best way to keep the no-show rate low is to constantly remind patients of their appointments.
For more information on an appointment reminder system, feel free to visit AngelSpeech Inc. The company offers office automation tools including appointment reminder software.