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Doctors often face missed appointments by patients. This results in loss of both money and time. It especially does if they take insurance. Physicians can only collect all the insurance money if the appointment occurs. It is difficult to charge a substantial late fee for patients who have insurance because they often rely on their insurance companies to make their health care affordable.
Most patients miss appointments because of emergencies, or they forgot. A doctor is not responsible for helping patients remember and keep their appointments; however, it is definitely in their favor if they do. Having a reminder system can be extremely beneficial for this reason. Patients do not want to miss appointments. It is especially hard on them if they are coming for a recurring prescription that they rely on to survive. It can create a lawsuit risk for the physician if that patient dies due to lacking it. Here are the substantial benefits of having an appointment reminder system and laws that surround it:
It Requires No Effort To Remind Patients Of Appointments
With an automated system such as Relatient – Patient Appointment reminder system, no one on the staff is responsible for sending appointment reminders out. It is an automated system that does so automatically. This can prevent mistakes from being made as a secretary can accidentally skip over a patient for a reminder or give a reminder for a patient who canceled the appointment. Having an automated system is an excellent way to increase productivity as staff members have much more time to do other tasks.
It can also cut costs to have an automated system. The number of staff members can be reduced as this is a one-time consuming function that is no longer necessary. It gives the physician, nurse, or secretary a chance to improve patient care as this mundane task is minimized.
Reduce Patient Flow
A patient who misses an appointment will have to reschedule it for a different date. It can increase patient flow and lead to longer waiting times. There are many types of specialties where patients need to get their medicine and will have to make another appointment that occurs soon after the missed one. As an example, patients that are severely mentally ill and miss an appointment with a psychiatrist may increase the risk of a lawsuit if they become suicidal, have a manic episode, or have a psychotic break. These offices heavily rely on recurring appointments.
Avoid No Pay Late Fees
A patient may choose to go to another office to avoid paying the late fee. This is especially common for doctors who are old school and do not keep a credit card number of charging their patients without them having to show up to pay. It is difficult to collect late fees if the patient does not show up. It’s especially hard to put this money in the collection. Even if this is done, the amount of money can be small enough to affect their credit score hardly.
Patients find doctor appointment reminders to be extremely useful. Patients often consider doctor offices that give out these reminders to have better customer service than ones who don’t. They want to show up to avoid having health consequences or paying a fee. Patients can hold busy lives that cause them to forget. It’s difficult for them to show up if they remember the appointment at the last second. They may have to cancel plans they’ve already made to do this.
Helps Comply With Regulations
A patient who wishes to opt-out of this service must not receive an email, text message, or phone call. An office can automatically set these up when a patient schedules their first appointment; however, the opportunity to opt-out of this service must be presented on a consent form on the first visit. The rules for your state may be different when it comes to giving them a notification that this service is going to take place or is available.
An appointment reminder must not have detailed information about the patient’s health. The only health information that can be disclosed is what specialty the doctor is in. Several things can be on a reminder appointment. They include:
-Date and time
-Name of the doctor
-Location of the appointment
This is to protect them if their cell phone data is compromised. Cell phones can be hacked just like computers can. Also, sometimes people hand their phones to others. This may be to show them information or make a phone call.
An appointment reminder must not include notes about the patient’s health. This can be given on a phone call with a short identification process. Many physicians are now using an online portal to share this information; these portals are very secure; the diagnosis is also not allowed on a reminder email. Many diagnoses can be embarrassing or even damage a professional reputation. Treatment plans must also be excluded. They can reveal what their diagnosis is. A patient can even be a victim of identity theft or fraud if financial information is stated on the reminder email. This is not allowed.
Keeping The Office On Track
Appointment reminders are useful for doctors and patients alike. They increase productivity, patient satisfaction, and income. It allows medical offices to give their patient the best medical care possible. With an appointment reminder system, compliance rules must be followed well. It can lead to lawsuits from HIPPA violations if any carelessness is involved. It’s wise to consider how an appointment reminder system can benefit your office.
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