Stop Calling Your Patients: The Increasing Need for Mobile Reminders

Did you know that 91 percent of people have their phone within arm’s reach 24/7? But get this: only 25 percent of physicians use mobile tech to provide patient care. That means a good portion of physicians aren’t tapping into the benefits of mobile reminders — especially since patients are always on their phones.

Think of it this way: if there was a better way to get in touch with your patients, why wouldn’t you? Better engagement is exactly what mobile reminders can offer you. Here’s a few other reasons why you should jump on the bandwagon.

How Much Do No-Shows Cost You (They Cost The Industry $150 Billion)?

Let’s face it: no-shows are a headache. They’re a waste of time, resources, and they lead to lost money. Do you know your average no-show rate? A “low” no-show rate is considered to be below 20 percent.

Now let’s say your practice sees 50 patients a day, with each appointment averaging $110. If your no-show rate is 16 percent, you’re losing $26,400 every month. On a national scale, one statistic estimates no-shows cost $150 billion.

Now, you may think no-shows are a part of the job of running a healthcare practice. And they are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t mitigate the financial effects no-shows have on your clinic—and even reduce your no-show rate overall.

Luma Health has an automated messaging system to help reduce your no-shows. It sends your patients HIPAA-compliant appointment reminders to remind them to show up. The best part? Because they’re automated, your hands—and your staff’s—are free, so to speak, to do other things.

Download this thought leadership white paper for ideas on how to make a plan to drive appointments and recoup lost revenues. Don’t miss these actionable patient engagement tips.

Update Your Tech To Save Yourself Time

What kind of appointment reminder system do you use (we hope you use some kind!)? Is it a personalized phone call? An automated phone call? An email? Do you leave a voice message?

Here’s the problem with all of the above:

– Some patients won’t answer calls from unknown numbers. That is, unless they have your number saved.

– Emailing? There’s a possibility your email could be filtered into the spam folder.

– And voicemail? Some people don’t even take them seriously anymore. As one writer suggested, you shouldn’t leave her a voicemail (do people even check voicemail anymore?)

Still, research has shown that having some kind of appointment reminder system in place helps reduce no-shows to varying degrees. But in our book, “varying degrees” is still unacceptable, especially when mobile reminders cut time-wasting out of the equation, all while reducing no-show rates.

According to one statistic, the SMS open rate exceeds 99 percent. Even cooler: 90 percent of them are read within 3 minutes.

Studies show that only 30-40 percent of patients activate their patient portal logins. Using a system like automated text messaging is both patient-centered and user-friendly, which is must to keep patients happy.

Patient Portals Just Don’t Make The Cut

Relying on a patient portal system to send patients reminders may not be the way to go, too. After all, you’re relying on the assumption your patient (1) uses the portal and (2) checks it regularly.

In fact, one study showed that only 30-40 percent of patients even activate their patient portal logins.

It makes you question how user-friendly and accessible your patient portals are. In essence, are they really doing the job? Some doctors even worry patient portals could potentially confuse patients. That could leave your patients with more questions—and your clinic with more issues to handle.

What’s worse is that patient portals can potentially alienate your patients from using them. Older patients, for example, were less likely to enroll in online portals. Your patient portal may not be so user-friendly even if it hits different MIPS measures. Here’s the deal: a system that is both patient-centered and user-friendly is a must for clinics to keep patients happy.

Go Further By Going Mobile

Mobile tech is the next big thing and it’s making headway in health IT. They’re a chance for you to update your current reminder system and save money by reducing no-show rates. Clinics and hospitals alike are tapping into mobile reminders — and you should, too.

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