After years of fairly steady growth, the stock market recently took a considerable downward turn.
Is it a blip or a trend? As I write this post, it's still too soon to tell.
What I do know, though, is that downturns like this one reinforce the importance of taking measures to increase efficiency and run a tighter ship, so to speak. And when it comes to health care, specifically, and improving a medical practice’s efficiency, optimizing and maximizing providers’ schedules is one of the best ways to accomplish just that.
Read on to learn more about the various tools available via your Vital Interaction™ system that can help you identify areas of waste that threaten the bottom line.
Improving The Bottom Line Through Strategic Patient Communication
In previous posts, we’ve discussed the value of a healthcare provider's time. Their time is in very short supply and therefore incredibly valuable.
In a nutshell, when patients miss appointments, medical practices incur considerable losses: lost time, lost productivity, lost revenue, and also lost trust.
No one understands this quite like Vital Interaction™. That’s why we continue to develop innovative tools and streamlined processes to significantly reduce missed appointments and maximize providers’ schedules as much as possible.
The Vital Interaction™ system offers a number of tools to keep providers’ schedules full and boost patient engagement—all while reducing costs.
One of our key, proven techniques to achieve a full schedule and sustainable patient engagement is by making it easy for patients to communicate with your practice when they can't keep their appointments.
Whether you choose to use a standard confirmation message or our new two-step Automatic Cancellation feature, the single best way to maximize providers’ schedules is by following up to remove patients from the schedule and fill empty appointment slots.
Follow this simple, five-step process we’ve developed to create a robust patient schedule—and ultimately a healthy bottom line:
Step 1: Identify those patients who don't intend to keep their appointments, and remove them from the schedule.
Step 2: Fill the empty appointment slots.
Step 3: Pinpoint all patients who haven't received reminder messages for their upcoming appointments.
Step 4: Identify and correct the problem that prevented the successful delivery of an automated reminder message. Typically, bad contact information is to blame.
Step 5: Remind the patient manually, if necessary—especially for high-value appointments, such as in-office procedures or consultations.
It's not magic, but if you put our process in place and stick to a routine, the results will follow.
Leveraging Reporting Tools and Targeted Recall Campaigns to Boost The Bottom Line
In addition to using the above process, there are a few steps you can take to further reduce no-shows and build a solid schedule.
To begin, we recommend ensuring that all patients who cancel or fail to show for their appointments are promptly rescheduled. You can easily identify these patients by applying certain filters to your Vital Interaction™ reports. The simplest way to reach these patients and keep your schedule full is to follow up each day.
Another option is to configure the delivery of automated reminder messages to patients who either don’t show for their appointment (no-show recall) or cancel their appointment but don't schedule one for the future (canceled-not-rescheduled recall).
And, finally, we suggest using practice management system recalls to prompt patients to schedule their prescribed follow-up visits. In addition, you can use reactivations to identify those patients who don’t have appointments scheduled and are now overdue for follow-up care. Recalls and reactivations can go a long way toward improving your patient retention rate.
If you’re a Vital Interaction™ customer and need help optimizing your providers’ schedules, call our Support team at (512) 487-7625, option 2, or email email@example.com.
At Vital Interaction™, we’re dedicated to providing the tools your medical practice needs to engage and communicate more effectively with patients. To learn more about how our interactive services can help increase practice efficiency and improve the bottom line, call (512) 487-7625.