Archive for February, 2010

The Secret to Cutting Patient No-Shows

February 24th, 2010

“If patients don’t have a relationship with physicians, they don’t mind not showing up,” said Dr. Tim Gorski from Arlington, Texas. If this is the case, how do you form a relationship with a patient who has not yet shown up for an appointment? This is where your office automation system comes in handy.

You should know that the monthly fee of a good scheduler with telephone, email and mobile text message reminder is roughly about the cost of one patient no-show to you. So can you afford NOT to use a reminder service?

The appointment stage

Your first contact with a patient will often start at the appointment stage. You should therefore ensure that you use a medical appointment scheduling program that is friendly to the patients. Although the patients will obviously like to speak to a live human being, they would rather find a faster alternative than being put on hold.

There are also other patients who would prefer to use the internet to book their own appointments. Self-service patient appointment scheduling makes this possible, where you will set up an online scheduler.

Remind the patients

After the patients have booked their appointments, it is important to make a follow-up by having an effective reminder service. There are some important factors you should consider when finding a good reminder service.

First, it will be very boring for a live agent to keep calling patients with the same message over and over. The frustration and exhaustion that results can easily make the receptionist talk in an unpleasant tone to the patients, and this will cost your business.

You should therefore let a computer that does not get tired or experience boredom do the job. This does not mean that you need to install any hardware or software in your office, which will be unnecessarily expensive. You just have to sign up for an appropriate service to take care of your needs. In this way, preventing just one patient no-show per month will be enough to pay for your subscription.

The appointment reminder service you use should enable you to get in touch with the patients in a variety of ways. For example, you should be able to reach your patients via the telephone, email, and mobile text message (SMS). This will ensure that you reach different types of patients. Each method has its strengths and drawbacks, hence using all of them will offer you the best possible deal.

You can also opt to give your patients the ability to cancel their appointments during the reminder process to further eliminate patient no-shows. You will be able to re-schedule the empty slots in good time.

Your office automation system should help you to maintain a good relationship with your patients and cut patient no-shows.

Office Automation – How to Get the Best Medical Practice Management Program

February 17th, 2010

The importance of office automation has resulted in the supply of many types of programs in the market. It is therefore very crucial that you go for a system that will give you the best value possible. This means that you should consider some factors before you even start looking for your office automation program. The following are some of the pertinent points that you need to bear in mind.

Compatibility with your office work flow and multiple communication channels

You most likely already have some system in place. For instance, you are already using telephone in your clinic. The automated telephone reminder that you would like to set up should not create a complete overhaul because it will not be able to operate seamlessly with your present telephone system.

People use different modes of communication in today’s world of Information Technology. You should therefore ensure that the office automation system you want to use is compatible with many types of systems and devices. This means that apart from using the telephone, the program you are looking for should be able to send emails, and instant text messages among others. In this way, you will be able to cater for the needs of different types of patients. While there are those patients who will prefer to use the telephone, particularly the elderly, others will prefer using the Internet. There are still some patients who have busy schedules and would like to receive automated reminders on their cell phones.

24/7 medical reception with automated virtual receptionist

While your medical office front desk receptionist will not be able to work round the clock, the virtual medical office receptionist should give you a 24/7 service. You will therefore have a self-service patient appointment scheduling, whereby the patients will be able to book their own appointments at any time of the day or night.

This means that your system should be robust enough to handle unlimited number of appointments in a day.

In addition to these considerations, you should use a pre-paid medical scheduler. This means that the patients will make some small payments when they make their appointments. As a result, you will be protected even when some patients do not show up. Patient no-shows result in what are known as invisible costs.

The type of office automation that you use will either make or break your medical practice. You should therefore ensure that you get the best service that suits both you and your patients.

The Business Value for Setting up a Comprehensive Automated Reminder Service

February 11th, 2010

If you have a medical clinic, it automatically follows that patients will be making appointments. While this is good, it is not enough by itself. Why? Simply put, no one is immune to forgetfulness. Some of your patients are going to forget about their scheduled appointments and that no-show is going to be hurting your business income. which is why you need to set up a patient appointment reminder service.

There are different types of reminder programs that you can use. If you would like to have the best deal, the appointment reminder service you go for should include a variety of options. Let us take a look at three of the most common appointment reminders in the market.

Telephone Reminder Service

You have just about 100% of your patient use telephones, which means that you will have the potential of reaching most people with this type of reminder program. You will be able to get in touch with both young and old people, who do not rely on other modern methods of communication.

The problem with phone reminder is that the patients need to be physically present at the time of call in order to receive the reminder. Although some people have telephone answering systems to save a message, this is not true for everyone.

Email Appointment Reminders

With the advancement of Information Technology, the use of email has become very common. Very many people use emails every day all over the world. The patients can check their mail boxes at any time and receive their appointment reminders, making it very reliable as reminder service.

One major problem with emails is the prevalence of spam, which has made many email programs to have different anti-spam features. Unfortunately, there are times when even genuine emails are labeled as spam, which means that they will not be delivered to the inboxes. Another disadvantage is the fact that you will leave out those patients who have not climbed the steep technological ladder, particularly the elderly.

Text Message Reminder Service

One of the most reliable patient reminder programs is the use of instant text messages, which enables the patients to schedule their reminders to just a couple of hours prior to their appointments. The mobility of cell phones also makes it possible to reach the patients whenever they may be.

However as common as the system is, you should not assume that every patient has a cell phone, or every cell phone can accept instant text messages. In addition, the patients will be charged for the messages they use.

Point is, if the patient reminder program that you use depends on just one method at the expense of the others, you will be suffer a small percentage of reminder failure one way or the other. To ensure your business will not loss income, you should therefore choose a comprehensive automated reminder service that includes all the various methods.

Online Appointment Scheduler Can Lessen the Burden of Doctors

February 9th, 2010

There are doctors for the patients suffering from various health diseases but then what about doctors? Doctors too are human beings and are often so stressed out in life! Their medical practice no doubt major source of the stress.

The survey says the medical professionals who own health care centers, frequently get frustrated due to apathies by staff in tackling patients or by trivial things such as arranging (or re-arranging) their appointments. Furthermore, doctor’s office cannot look after every patient’s reminder and regimens. On the other hand, medical front desk receptionist may fail milti-tasking and may have to bear words from the doctors.

To overcoming all above mentioned issues, the technology brings us the best way to manage medical services. Office automation using virtual receptionist that can literally multi-tasking is currently in boom! Specially designed medical office virtual assistant can serve as front desk receptionist as well patient reminder service –making daily automated call to patient reminding them about their forthcoming appointments or visits to health centers. Also, the system comes with multilingual option (English, French, and Spanish etc) for better communication with patients whose native language is not English.

This all-in-one virtual receptionist can be further utilized as online appointment scheduler. Also, prepaid appointment system can save a financial loss due to no-show patient issues. Online appointment scheduler can synchronize appointments with Google Calendar and send to handheld devices such as iPhone and Blackberry. This makes it a must-have for medical professionals who travel or away from office frequently. A scheduler that synchronize with Google allows them to manage their patient appointment without access to computer.

An all-in-one virtual receptionist should be the best helper that is capable of finally relieve the burden of doctors as they can rely on the system that never gets tired even after working for 24/7. Virtual receptionist comes with lovely voice that is clearly audible. No matter how many patients call at a time, no one of them would get busy boring tones that otherwise annoy them. As such a virtual receptionist is connected to doctor’s office via different type of call forwarding, it take over a business call while the office line os busy, no-answer, etc, this wonderful system proves itself as a backup receptionist in a true sense

This Virtual Receptionist Can Do More Than You Think!

February 8th, 2010

If you run a health care center and in search of efficient frontdesk helper for multitasking, you should probably give a shot to a state-of-art automated virtual receptionist that can function as substitute of your live staff!

A typical human virtual receptionist would answer patients’ calls with some limitations –for instance most live agent will not book appointment for your caller, or if they do, the fee they charge for the service can be hefty to your. An automated virtual receptionist will help your caller with an appointment at a fraction of the human agent’s fee.

Because a virtual receptionist is electronically connected to doctor’s online scheduler, a doctor can also turn this wonderful system into patient reminder service –automated calls to patients for reminding them about forthcoming appointments and visits to the health care center. Clinic owners can therefore minimize the risk of financial loss due to the patient’s no-shows issues. In addition to reminder service, online scheduler that support prepaid medical appointment also help doctors deals with such issue as it ensures partial or full payment of appointment be made at the time of appointemnt booking.

An all-in-one Virtual receptionist-Appointment Scheduler can synchronize your schedule with Google Calendar and send it to handheld device such as Smartphone, iPhone and Blackberry. This feature has been proved to be very useful for doctors who travel out of their stations frequently. 2ways Google Sync allows them to manage their schedule from handhelds device without computer. It is truelly “anywhere anytime” convenience and flexibility.

New technologie is here to help you run a better business. An all-in-one Multi-tasking virtual receptionist could be the best helper you ever known.