Eye doctors see greater revenue through appointment reminder calls

November 18th, 2008

As is the case with many medical practices, optometry clinics struggle with the revenue and profit drain caused by frequent patient no-shows. Eye doctors rely on revenue generation through consistently scheduled appointments throughout their days. The challenge for many is that it is one thing to have a schedule filled in advance. It is another to actually provide service and collect revenue on those appointment times as they develop. The problem is many patients either forget their appointment, neglect to call and cancel, or wait until the last minute to cancel. All of these scenarios leave the optometrist stuck with an unfilled appointment time, meaning a lost revenue opportunity. Fortunately, advanced technology featured in the automated appointment reminder solution makes reductions in missed appointments and improvements in revenue collection a reality for many eye doctors.

The appointment reminder program has long been a part of the process of running an eye clinic. However, many practices have relied on live agents to deliver the all important phone reminder calls. There are many potential hiccups in this process. First, live agents are human beings and struggle with fatigue, stress, and apathy at times. Healthcare front desk positions have a notoriously high turnover rate because many of the live agents are overwhelmed with patient concerns, phone calls, office tasks, and completion of insurance paperwork. Thus, the telephone reminder program run by a busy receptionist could become inaccurate, unprofessional, or potentially even avoided. A best in class automated phone reminder solution does not pose the same mental and emotional challenges that a live agent does. In fact, an automated phone reminder program offers many potential business advantages over the live agent, while also freeing the receptionist to give more personalized patient care, and complete paperwork.

Appointment reminder software can be easily programmed to deliver appointment reminder calls to scheduled patients in advance of their appointments. These calls are delivered in a timely, precise and multi-functional manner. Along with the phone reminder, an automated telephone reminder service can also allow for various responses on the part of the patient. Patients who need to cancel may do so, allowing the eye clinic to fill the time slot. Patients can also confirm their appointment. Additionally, the telephone reminder can include specific notes tailored to the patients based on the purpose of their visit to the eye clinic.

The consistent and accurate delivery of appointment reminder calls is both a great customer service and a practical business resource for the optometrist. More patients will be “captured” meaning fewer no-shows, and fewer missed appointment times. Live receptionists should be less stressed and better equipped to perform more demanding daily services and tasks. Another excellent advantage of a top automated appointment reminder software solution is that it does not have to come with a steep price tag. Many great phone reminder programs are available for a modest up front cost and little to no ongoing maintenance requirements, making them a very efficient telephone reminder solution.

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