There are dozens of ways you can remind patients about their upcoming appointments.
But few offer the flexibility, reliability, and customer service you need to truly optimize texting in healthcare. Here are the important things to look for in a patient appointment reminder software.
Built for enterprise health systems
If you run a large practice or health system, choose a patient appointment reminder service built with your needs in mind. Software built for a dental practice or an eye-care clinic might be able to scale, but why suffer through those growing pains? Instead, opt for a platform purpose-built for enterprise health systems. Whether your practice has a dozen providers or a thousand, the software will meet your needs to reduce no-shows, increase confirmations, and collect payments.
Built for security
This might sound obvious, but choose a patient appointment reminder software that was built with healthcare security in mind. It should take security as seriously as you do and be both HIPAA compliant and HITRUST CSF Certified.
Flexible and customizable
Choose a patient appointment reminder software that offers flexible and customizable messaging. You should be able to choose what you want to say to your patients and when you want to send it. And you deserve the ability to update patient messages yourself.
Legacy patient appointment reminder services require nightly data batch uploads and don’t sync with the EHR. So, if you schedule appointment reminders to be sent to patients who later cancel, that’s too bad. Those reminders will go out anyway. And, if you want to make changes to your automations, those can take weeks to implement. Demand better.
Real time sync to the EHR
You need a patient appointment reminder software with real-time, two-way communication with the EHR. For example, when a patient cancels their appointment, it should push the cancellation directly to the EHR, without any additional lift from your staff.
The EHR also houses other important patient data, such as their preferred language. This ensures that patients receive messages in a language they understand.
Choose a patient appointment reminder software that allows patients to text you back. When you send an appointment reminder message, patients may have questions about the appointment and how they should prepare. Make sure they can ask those questions over text and your staff can respond quickly.
Or better yet, choose a system with a conversational chatbot that can respond to frequent questions, and get staff attention when necessary.
For example, a father brings his daughter into a new pediatrician for a physical and vaccinations. He has questions:
How long will she be out of school?
Should I bring anything?
The first question affects his convenience. The second determines the efficiency of the appointment. If he doesn’t bring her records, she won’t receive the needed vaccinations. Your system should respond automatically when it knows the answer, and alert staff when it doesn’t.
White glove service
You need more than a patient appointment reminder software, you need experts in patient communication. Choose a platform that offers both. You’re already investing in the software, make sure it comes with service.
A client success team that offers white-glove service can improve the success rates of your appointment reminder messages. For example, simply choosing the right cadence to send messages improves confirmation rates and reduces no-shows.
Additionally, using the right language in your patient texts can improve response rates. A dedicated client success team can show you how. For example, message length and whether or not you use patient first names will affect your metrics.
Speaking of metrics, choose a patient appointment reminder software that offers analytics and customizable reports to help understand patient needs. It should provide capability to:
- See how many patients are responding to confirm, cancel, or reschedule their appointments
- Measure your no-show trend over time
- Track how productively your staff is using the software
- Determine the optimal time frame to send out messages before an appointment
- See how many patients have paid after receiving a co-pay or billing reminder
- Provide advanced insights to improve your Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Read the reviews
When it comes to selecting any kind of software, read end-user reviews on platforms such as Capterra and G2. Reviews on these sites are from the people who are actually using the software on a day-to-day basis. Here’s what to look for:
- Is the platform user friendly?
- Does the software work? End users will be the first to know and to share when a product isn’t working well.
- Does the software improve workflow?
- Has the software improved appointment metrics?
- Do appointment reminders get sent correctly?
- Does customer service respond to issues quickly or do they require multiple examples of a problem before they tackle it?
- Is support staff friendly and organized?
Why WELL is the preferred patient appointment reminder software
WELL is the only Leader in HIPAA Compliant Messaging on G2 as of Fall 2019. We were built for enterprise health systems and are HITRUST CSF Certified. Our product delivers amazing results and we offer the kind of client success that consistently earns us five-star ratings on Capterra and G2.
Reach out to one of our patient communication experts today to see how WELL can help you reach your patients.
Never miss a story.
Get expert tips on communicating with your patients straight to your inbox, and improve your patient experience!
Pamela Ellgen is WELL’s Health Editor. She began her career in community journalism at The Asian Reporter and later covered business at The Portland Tribune. She is the author of more than a dozen published books and a graduate of Washington State University.