How to Improve the Effectiveness of Appointment Reminders with a Virtual Assistant

A calendar showing an appointment on a certain datePeople forget. It is a fact of life! We have so many things to remember during the course of each day that we often forget about appointments set up a few days or even weeks in advance. Appointment reminders are a way to help people not forget And a remote worker can easily help your practice with this time-consuming task.

How Appointment Reminders Work

A medical practice typically sends out one or more patient reminders. This can easily be done via email, text messages, or telephone calls. This not only reminds your patients that they need to make allowances for a doctor’s visit on a specific date at a specific time, but it also allows your staff to try to fill any gaps in a healthcare provider’s calendar when appointments are either rescheduled or canceled.

At the end of the day, no healthcare practice wants to sit idle for periods of the day when the healthcare provider does not see patients. Especially when previously scheduled to do so!

Different Types of Appointment Reminders

Different types of appointment reminders can also benefit your healthcare practice.

Automated Appointment Reminders

Sending automated reminders allows your patients the opportunity to confirm appointments well in advance. Automated appointment reminders include both text messages and emails. Your patient could easily confirm their appointment, thereby giving you as the healthcare provider the assurance that the patient is planning to turn up for their appointment.

Telephone Calls

Unfortunately, not everyone responds to automated messages. Sometimes they read them and, while they have the best of intentions of answering them, forget to do so. The healthcare practice may either take it for granted that a patient will turn up for their appointment, or they may assume that the patient will not show up. Both these scenarios have a negative element attached.

If you take it for granted a patient will show up to an appointment simply because you sent out an automated message, you will find yourself with many no-shows. On the flip side, when you assume patients will not show up because they have not responded to appointment reminders, you may find yourself with a double booking and upset patients!

Telephonic appointment reminders, in this case, could have helped stave off these situations.

How to Improve Appointment Reminders with A Medical Virtual Assistant

A medical virtual assistant can increase the effectiveness of appointment reminders in any type of healthcare environment. These professionals can easily slot into your practice’s workday flow, thereby increasing its efficiency. This they do by logging into your practice’s online documentation system from a remote location. These professionals can work any hours of the day and are not limited to a nine-to-five regimen like most in-house healthcare medical practice workers. They also come with several other advantages.

Increased Appointment Reminders Efficiency

Making use of technology allows your medical virtual assistant to send out tailor-made emails and text messages any time of the day or night. They can also do follow-up calls when necessary.

While many automated appointment reminders allow someone to confirm an appointment, things may crop up and a patient cannot confirm. As a result, they may ignore automated appointment reminders or cancel their appointments. This could mean they have to repeat the appointment-making process from scratch.

A virtual medical assistant in charge of appointment reminders can make all the difference here. These people can actively engage with your patients, something a person sitting in an office environment may not have the time to do. In-house workers usually have more than one task that needs their attention.

Engaging the services of a dedicated professional to take care of appointment reminders means that this person can contact patients not responding to patient reminders or who cancel appointments. In so doing, they can either verify the person will turn up, or reschedule an appointment for a time more convenient to them. Furthermore, they can easily contact someone on your waiting list and slot them into that particular timeslot.

Reduction In No-Shows and A Shorter Waiting List

Because the professional virtual assistant handling your appointment reminders can easily slot in someone on your waiting list when a patient cannot make it, you will see a decrease in the number of patients on your waiting list. At the same time, you will see a sharp decline in the number of no-shows. This promotes patient confidence and thus patient retention. Both these have positive results for any medical practice.

Decreases Stress for In-House Staff Members

A virtual hire for handling appointment reminders will help decrease the stress levels of your in-house staff. In-house staff often have to handle multiple tasks throughout the day. As a result, appointment reminders may not be handled by one person. And even if they are, the person may be so busy trying to get other work done that this important task does not get the attention it deserves.

Having a designated person responsible for this task takes some stress off your in-house staff members, leaving them free to concentrate on other, important tasks that need doing.

Increase In Patient Satisfaction and Trust

A patient who trusts their healthcare provider will have a greater inclination to keep on using their services. Sending out tailor-made appointment reminders with telephonic follow-ups adds a personal touch that most people like. It lets people know their well-being is important to their doctor. As a result, you may see patients not only staying with you but even recommending your practice’s service to their friends or family.

Additional Benefits of A Medical Virtual Assistant

Besides improving the results of sending out appointment reminders, hiring a virtual assistant for this important job in your practice can have other benefits as well.

24/7 Access

This person could offer 24/7 access for patient phone calls and patient information. This allows them to quickly update your patient list for any specific day, as well as reschedule appointments, cancel appointments as needed, and make provisions for patients from your waiting list.

Saving on Overhead Costs

All businesses have overhead costs. These include salaries, provision for benefits, and equipment.

The good news is that a virtual hire makes use of their own equipment. Furthermore, you would only pay them for the time worked at a much cheaper rate than you would an in-house hire. And you would not have to make any provision for the usual benefits you would need to commit to for in-house hire.

Many healthcare practices also have to ensure that their employees stay up to date concerning training. Training costs go up each year. However, you do not need to think about this with a virtual hire as it is the responsibility of the company through which you make your hire.

At Cool Blue VA, for example, all our virtual assistants are HIPAA certified and trained in the latest technologies. And when new technologies crop up, we make sure they undergo any necessary training. At no cost to you.

An Easy Hiring Experience

Finding a suitable candidate for doing your appointment reminders is often difficult. You may not find someone in your vicinity or you may have to ensure someone gets the correct training.

A virtual hire already has the training and can thus slot right into your practice without any hassles.

To make matters even easier, when hiring with Cool Blue VA, you can send us your requirements and we will ensure you receive a list of candidates that match these needs. As a result, you can quickly make your choice and your ideal candidate can almost immediately start working to make your life easier.

Hiring A Virtual Assistant Through Cool Blue VA

A virtual assistant for appointment reminders from Cool Blue VA can help improve patient satisfaction by providing prompt, attentive service. They also help free up time for those working in your office, thereby allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

Furthermore, our virtual assistants are extremely flexible concerning job tasks. You can easily make use of them in other areas of your practice as and when needed. As a result, you can immediately make provisions for when your staffing needs unexpectedly change.

If you would like to know more about how a medical virtual assistant from Cool Blue VA can help with appointment reminders or the other effective services we offer, contact us today at 714-695-8000. We will gladly help you navigate your way to finding your perfect virtual hire.

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