best appointment reminders: manual vs. automated

Best Reminders from Doctors: Manual vs. Automated

Every once in a while, we get a call from a healthcare provider who feels torn. On the one hand, they would like to automate appointment reminders, but they think their patients would prefer to get a phone call from their office staff. Even though they’d like to outsource the job, they are afraid it will cost more to do so. Some feel that employees are better at the job than automated systems are. So how do you get the best patient reminders? Should your staff do them manually or should you try an automated system? Let’s look at the facts and find out.

Do your patients want to get a call from your front office receptionist, Suzie?

As of this writing, patients request text message reminders twice as often as any other type of reminder. Text messages don’t interrupt them during a drive or a meeting. Plus, they leave a copy of the date and time of the appointment right on the phone. So, even though some patients want to chat with Suzie, it would seem they are the minority.

Does Suzie cost less than an automated reminder system?

If you see ten patients per day, reminders from will cost you less than $1 per day. So, unless you’re paying Suzie $1 per hour, you are paying much more to have her make the calls. There is no doubt that automating reminders will save money.

Can an automated system send reminders better than your staff?

Let’s see. Our system can send reminders every day, even on Sunday for Monday appointments. We can send reminders in the evenings when more patients are likely to receive them. We can send text messages. We can send 100 emergency closure notifications in less than one minute. Suzie would have a hard time competing with that.

Are Suzie’s reminders more HIPAA compliant than automated ones?

Unfortunately, people make mistakes, and front office staff often leave information on the wrong voicemail. This mistake CAN result in a HIPAA violation. Automate your reminders and you remove the possibility of human error. Outsource to and as your Business Associate, we can provide accuracy as well as data encryption and security.

Does having a human make the calls give you more control?

It may be a matter of opinion, but shows cancellations live on your dashboard. This lets Suzie immediately find a replacement patient to fill the canceled appointment. That gives you more control over your schedule, not less.

Is your staff more professional sounding than an automated system?

An automated reminder system never gets interrupted by patients or other staff. It never sounds sick or grumpy or tired. We are told our reminders gives practices a technically-savvy, state-of-the-art feel. Plus, you can add your own voice to the calls to give them a personal touch.

The Takeaway

We may be biased, but we feel that automation can provide the best reminders. Automated reminders cost less, are more reliant, more accurate and more secure. They free Suzie from having to do a tedious, boring task so that she can do more skillful work. It’s a win for her too. But, most of all, patients love them.

To hear what our reminders sound like, check out our instant demo!