Tech Q&A: Patient reminder systems worth the investment

January 25, 2012

What to consider when deciding whether to contract with a communications vendor for appointment tracking.

Q: We have been considering using our practice management system to feed into a patient reminder system. Is it worth incurring the costs to send data from our system to a communication vendor, or should we just resign ourselves to the fact that a certain percentage of patients will skip or cancel appointments?

A: Patients may not reschedule with you and may even seek out another provider if they believe you didn't do enough to remind them of their appointments. Communication vendors often will have different levels of reminders that let you choose how you want to deliver the reminder and how much you are willing to spend. Determine how many appointments are missed on a daily basis and compare that lost revenue with the cost of sending reminders to every patient on your schedule. If you decide to go with a reminder system, you may see a benefit as soon as the first reminded patient.