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Should You Send More Patient Reminder Messages after Receiving an Appointment Confirmation Message?

Patient Reminder Messages | Appointment Confirmation Message

Posted by Marc Coppedge, Account Manager at Vital Interaction on 9/12/17 3:37 AM

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There are times when it’s wise to send patients additional reminder messages following appointment confirmation.

At Vital Interaction, we’re firm believers in finding balance when interacting and connecting with patients. Whether sending an appointment reminder or a friendly birthday greeting, striking a balance is vital to successful patient engagement.

But how do you find that middle ground between sending too many reminder messages that patients become annoyed and sending too few that they forget and miss their appointments?

The truth is: What works for one practice won't necessarily work for another. That’s why we designed the Vital Interaction system to be easily customized to fit the needs of your practice and your patients.

In previous articles, we've discussed the finer points of setting up a message schedule.

Taking advantage of all three forms of communication (email, text message, and voice call) is the most effective approach, but determining how often to send these messages to serve both parties’ needs can be a challenge.

Today, we’ll discuss whether to send appointment reminders after the patient has confirmed or responded in some way they they plan to keep their appointment.

When to Send an Additional Reminder Message after Receiving a Confirmation Message

Full disclosure: Generally, we do not recommend that you continue sending appointment reminder messages after the patient responds. However, there are cases in which this approach can be effective.

The most common example or case is a practice with a high no-show rate. If your rate routinely exceeds 15 percent, it’s time to rethink your no-show reduction strategies and take smart appointment-reminder steps toward keeping your schedule full.

It’s not fun—and it may seem counterintuitive—but our experience has shown that sending more messages results in more kept appointments.

There are times when it’s wise to send patients additional reminder messages following appointment confirmation.

Post-confirmation Reminder Messages Require Different Content

We almost never recommend sending the exact same reminder message after a patient has already confirmed. A better approach is to send a different, more concise message to the patient just before the appointment.

Our customizable pre-appointment messages, for example, are ideal for situations like this and can be configured to be delivered the day before their appointment. These short, simple reminder messages may be just what’s needed to get your patient moving.

Here are a couple examples of pre-appointment text messages you can easily send via your Vital Interaction system:

  • Example 1: Don’t forget your appt with {doctor_name} tomorrow {small_date}, at {time} at {facility_name} at {facility_address}.
  • Example 2: Your appt with {facility_name} is on {small_date} at {time}. If you are over 15 minutes late, you will be asked to reschedule. See you tomorrow!

The bottom line is that you have options when it comes to how assertive you want to be with appointment reminders. Talk with your Vital Interaction Account Manager today to see how you can further customize your settings to increase patient retention and reduce your no-show rate.

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