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Personal Touch Is King

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The personal touch will always be king. How are you connecting with your patients?

A study published in 2010 viewed the effectiveness of phone reminders at reducing no-show rates. The most effective method was a staff phone reminder, followed by an automated phone call reminder, and lastly no reminder at all. The no-show rates were 14%, 17%, and 23% respectively.

But, depending on the size of your practice, is using clinic staff time worth the increase? What if there is a better option?

Increasing Healthcare Costs

Healthcare costs continue to rise and are projected to increase over the next several years, accounting for 18% of the U.S. GDP. This brings up a fundamental question with which we as a country struggle: when is spending that extra dollar just not worth the benefit?

This question arises with screening programs like mammography. Are the costs of doing more frequent screening exams worth the low number of extra cases cost? It’s a sticky question.

A similar debate ensued over the highly effective chemotherapeutic Genentech drug Avastin. They created Lucentis, similar to Avastin, but enhanced it.

Avastin’s price tag: $50
Lucentis’ price tag: $2,000

$1,950 more for only marginally better results. Is the extra cost worth the additional benefit? Many ophthalmologists opt to treat with the cheaper drug.

Best of Both Worlds

With personalized automation + reduced phone calls from staff, you get the best of both worlds.

At Luma Health, we optimize our clients’ workflow while still delivering the best in healthcare. We value the personal touch and we found many of our clients were manually doing appointment reminders with such a large volume that it just didn’t justify the cost of staff time.

Our reminder system takes an intelligent approach. We let the patient choose their preferred form of communication (phone call, text message, or email) and automate a reminder series to increase their response rates. Without picking up the phone, your staff can see which patients were not reached and which didn’t respond–all in real time. You can customize Luma to reach out to non-responders at a later time, or you can choose to make a personal phone call.

Click here for more tips on creating a customized experience for your patients.

Tashfeen Ekram, MD, is a radiologist, self-taught coder, healthcare innovator and Co-Founder of Luma Health. Contact him on Twitter at @tashfeenekramMD.

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