Technology has revolutionized many industries and business sectors. Everything from construction and project management and catering and the leisure industries has become more efficient at servicing customer and client needs due to the widespread proliferation of smart devices which allow those customers and clients to reach out to product and service providers when and where they wish to interact with them or investigate services and the products that provide businesses with their competitive advantage. However, the reverse is also now true.
Patient Reminder System
Whereas in past decades, marketing and client relations relied on either above the line advertising or the costly and time-consuming phone call to touch bases with a client. Today autonomous, and in many cases, semi-intelligent patient reminder systems have now made the task of reaching customers and clients more cost-effective and provided a level of customer service that not so long ago was merely impossible.
One of the sectors that have benefited from these autonomous systems is medical – and in particular medical practices. The task of issuing patient reminders has always been one that is essential. A missed patient visit can cost the practice significant amounts of money – and if patient reminders are not effective, these losses can quickly mount. However, it is not only a single missed visit that affects the medical practice’s bottom line. The increasingly competitive environment that faces medical practices is one where patient relations are paramount. If those relations are not carried out effectively, the reputation of the practice will suffer – and in this day and age, reputation is everything when it comes to maintaining a competitive advantage.
Autonomous reminders delivered to the smart device are highly effective in cutting down on missed appointments and maximizing the profit of the practice by allowing medical practitioners to utilize their time more effectively. Some studies have shown that these sorts of reminders can significantly improve the lead time for warnings about a missed appointment and increase the rescheduling process’s effectiveness.
These new style patients now expect autonomous reminders. In many cases, patients will not even bother to diarize their next scheduled medical appointment – they expect the responsibility for reminders to now have devolved to the practice itself. Those reminders now have to be timely and effective – and reach the patient no matter the challenges involved. Once again, the fact is that modern communication practice is taken for granted by consumers. They expect to receive messages on their term s- not when it suits the practice to reach out. It is worth restating that modern technology means that these patients now want to receive messages wherever they are and be able to access that reminder no matter the time of day.
Automation Makes It Easier
The usefulness of these systems is that they operate across the full spectrum of stakeholder requirements – and they will do this automatically. A patient will be informed that their appointment is scheduled for a particular time of day – and then they can respond using a variety of tools, including text messaging. Then the system will take over from the practice side. If the patient has cancelled and requires rescheduling, the system will automatically populate a database with this information and, in many cases, allocate and new time and date, inform the patient, and set up a reminder. What has now become an empty slot will be filled. Once again, it’s worth noting that this leads to an almost immediate improvement in the allocation of the practice resources – and this happens without the intervention of staff that can then use their time more effectively. The implications are apparent.
Contrast this approach with the traditional telephonic reminder regarding an upcoming appointment. The staff member responsible for reminders (and most often with calendar management) must reach out to the patient. In this day and age of increased time pressures that patients may simply not respond to the call (the instances of consumers who rely on text, for instance rather than voice has been increasing dramatically in the past decade). So the process of reaching the patient may require multiple calls – all the while time is ticking away, and the window for rescheduling is growing ever smaller. Once the patient finally does respond to that message, they need to supply feedback in real-time – that will necessitate them checking their diaries and schedules on the fly. Think about someone who is highly mobile and uses a motor vehicle much of the time, responding will either be delayed or will require that the patient stop (to comply with legal requirements) and handle the issue there and then. It is easy to understand that this can lead to almost immediate patient dissatisfaction.
Of course, other communication methods may be employed to take advantage of these patient reminder systems’ autonomous nature. There is also an email. The commonality in the communication methods is that it puts the responsibility back into the patient’s hands and allows them to respond using techniques that have high visibility and are in almost constant use. The software’s ability to automate the process is one that can mean the difference in maintaining a high level of competitiveness or falling prey to competitive pressures. In short, Autonomous Patient Reminder systems are essential for a modern practice where time is money.