choosing an appointment reminder system

Choosing the Right Appointment Reminder System

It’s no secret that a good appointment reminder system can improve patient outcomes and increase revenue for your practice. One study shows that it can increase compliance by up to 40%. Not only do reminders count towards MIPS requirements, but most patients have come to rely on them. So how do you choose the right system?

Here are some things to think about:

1. What kind of support will I get?

Hint: If you can’t find a phone number on their website, you’re going to have a difficult time getting help.

The main reason people leave a reminder company is the inability to speak to a live person and get assistance. At ReminderCall.com, we’ve gone old-school: call us during business hours, and we’ll help you. Live, technical support is standard with every account.

2. Where is the company located?

Hint: If you can’t find an address on their website, they may not be in the U.S.

Why is this a problem? First, it will be difficult to speak to a live person who is across the globe and asleep during your business hours. Second, sending ePHI (electronic protected health information) offshore, may not be such a good idea. An off-shore company may sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement, but they are not subject to HIPAA laws. You could be held responsible if there is a breach of data. Finally, common sense dictates that servers in the U.S. can deliver calls and text messages more reliably in the U.S. than offshore servers.

3. How is this company HIPAA compliant?

Hint: Even a kid working from his mother’s basement can sign an HIPAA agreement.

Ask to see the company’s HIPAA Privacy and HIPAA Security policies. These should show that the servers are maintained in a secured facility and that data transfers are encrypted. Read the password policies, remote access policies, and employee training policies. Make sure they perform routine HIPAA risk assessment audits and have addressed all HIPAA requirements.

4. How long has this company been around?

Hint: Just because they have a fancy website or a pretty app does not mean they can handle the complexities of your needs.

Shoppers routinely overlook the importance of experience. ReminderCall.com sends millions of reminders per month. Since 1998, we have helped thousands of practices develop custom solutions. Chances are we know a little more than a company that just popped up last week. Don’t volunteer to be someone’s guinea pig.

5. Is this vendor trying to upsell?

Hint: Sometimes companies hide the cost of appointment reminders by bundling them with other services.

Sure, surveys, social media advertising, online reputation management, website development, and marketing are great. But, if you only need appointment reminders, why buy an expensive package that includes features that your practice won’t use? Don’t get talked into paying for a bunch of unrelated services.

6. Is this company’s pricing transparent?

Hint: If it looks to good to be true, it probably is.

There are plenty of ways to make a service look less expensive than it is. Do you have to buy a block of time in advance? Does it roll over or do the credits expire at the end of the month? Are there fees?

ReminderCall.com is a month-to-month service. There are no contracts, no overages, no blocks, and no funny business. We don’t like telecommunications companies that nickel and dime us, so we don’t do it to our customers. You pay for what you use, period.

7. How well does the system work?

Hint: Most reputable reminder companies will let you do a demo.

Doing a demo will allow you to check the quality of the calls and the speed of the text-message delivery. At ReminderCall.com, you can do an instant demo of our calls in English, French and Spanish. You can also send instant demo text messages. In fact, we’re so sure you’ll like the quality of our calls, that we invite you to play with our system for an entire month for just $1.

8. How flexible is the reminder system?

Hint: Many services have a one-size-fits-all solution that may not fit your practice.

ReminderCall.com calls can be created in a synthesized voice, your voice, or a combination of the two. You can attach an audio file with instructions or directions. You decide the days and times to send your reminders. There are even caller I.D. options.

9. Are the text messages really SMS?

Hint: Many reminder services use outdated email-to-SMS technology instead of real SMS text messages.

How does this affect you? For one, you have to ask for and keep track of each patients’ cell phone carriers to send them a text. On top of that, your patients’ responses come via email with a generic email address, so you can’t tell who is canceling an appointment.

ReminderCall.com uses real 2-way SMS text messaging so that patients can respond. Whether they type “C” to confirm or send a long-winded response as to why they can or can’t come, you will receive complete responses and know who they are.

10. How soon do I get my responses?

Hint: The sooner you see your responses, the earlier you can contact other patients to fill canceled appointments.

With ReminderCall.com, you can access the status of all your calls in real time. Playback any of your sent calls with one click. Activate daily reports that track all of the activity in your account. Depending on your scheduling system, you may even be able to see response icons appear live in your calendar.

11. Can the system be used for more than reminders?

Hint: Emergency closure notifications can be a real lifesaver.

The ability to use automated communications for other purposes certainly gives the system extra value. ReminderCall.com is so customizable you can send messages to reschedule an appointment, request new customer information, and much more. Emergency closure notifications are included free of charge with your account.

12. Will the system integrate with my scheduling software?

Fact: A seamless integration with your software eliminates data entry errors and improves accuracy.

ReminderCall.com has existing integrations with a variety of different scheduling software types. If you don’t see your software here, we can create a custom integration for you. A custom integration allows you to send text, voice or email appointment reminders automatically from your calendar application.