Reminder call program keeps patients coming back for eye care

December 2nd, 2008

Eye care clinics are recognizing increased competition and the need to drive consistent revenue and maintain patient relationships. As is the case with other medical providers, optometrists depend on consistently utilized appointment times to collect revenue from patients. Patient no-shows or missed follow up business can harm the long-term viability of any practice. A virtual reminder call program has become the answer for many of the top optometrists. An automated reminder call service is the most efficient, cost-effective, and accurate way to deliver telephone reminders to patients, thus reducing the number of no-shows and last minute appointment cancellations.

Historically, receptionists have been responsible for making reminder calls in optometry clinics. However, turnover has been fairly high in many healthcare offices because receptionists are stressed, overwhelmed and fatigued. Many practices operate with one or two receptionists who are responsible for managing in-clinic patients, telephone calls, office communications, and insurance paperwork. The burden of doing all of these things, plus taking the time to making daily reminder phone calls can wear any person out. Even though good receptionists may try to accomplish all of these things effectively, at some point their stress causes them to lose effectiveness in handling personalized concerns of patients and accurately completing tasks.

The automated appointment reminder solution does not struggle with stress or fatigue. More importantly, it potentially relieves some of the stress and fatigue of the other members of an office staff. An optometrist relies on patient relationships for long-term success. An automated reminder helps reduce the number of forgotten appointments and helps increase revenue collection. Additionally, the reminder call enables the patient to either confirm or cancel. An early cancel allows the practice to schedule another patient during that time slot and not miss out on the revenue earning opportunity. The appointment reminder is also a good way to deliver important notes on what to bring or other instructions to patients based on their particular needs.

Automated reminder call program can perform these daily phone reminders efficiently and accurately without the possible irritability that accompanies some calls from receptionists. Top reminder call software programs also offer multilingual call capabilities to help serve a diverse population. The good news is that an automated reminder program does not have to cost too much. Solutions can be purchased for a moderate up front cost and typically require little to no ongoing maintenance. For many eye care practices, the use of an automated appointment reminder program can potentially mean the elimination of the need for a backup receptionist or part time receptionist to help with managing office tasks.

Additionally, the reminder call program not only performs its duties without fail, it also frees up the receptionist to complete his or her more important tasks efficiently and with less stress. The overall morale of the office is improved, patient care is more personable, and the practice benefits through a reduced number of patient no-shows and better long-term relationships with its patients.

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