Patients tend to book appointments weeks or months in advance. A lot can happen in a few weeks, not to mention a few months, and it’s possible that by the time their scheduled appointment rolls around, they’ve completely forgotten about it. Sending appointment reminders can cut down on no-shows and cancellations. Rectangle Health makes it easy.
Why Send Appointment Reminders?
Sending patients appointment reminders benefits them and your practice. One notable reason to send out reminders before appointments is that doing so can increase your practice’s revenue. When a patient cancels at the last minute or doesn’t show up for an appointment, you don’t have the time to fill the spot, leading to missed revenue.
Appointment reminders also help enhance the patient experience, especially if your practice charges a fee for no-shows. Individuals can formally cancel their appointments well in advance, avoiding the fee.
When to Send Appointment Reminders
There’s an art to knowing when to send reminders. You don’t want to bombard the patient with too many messages, but you also don’t want to send them so few reminders that they miss their appointments. A sweet spot to aim for is to send three reminders — one a week before the appointment, and two more in the days leading up to the visit.
One potential reminder schedule is:
- Two weeks before the appointment
- Two days before the appointment
- The day before the appointment
What to Include in Reminders
Patients need the details in their appointment reminders. The reminder should include everything necessary for them to find their appointment or make changes if needed. When creating your reminders, add:
- Appointment details: Include the time, date, location, and provider the patient will see. You can also include the appointment reason, such as an annual exam.
- Confirmation or cancellation instructions: Provide clear instructions for confirming or changing the appointment. If you send reminders by email or text, include a link the patient can click to make adjustments or confirm the appointment.
- Personalized message: Add a personalized message to make the reminder more welcoming and improve the patient experience. Something as simple as including the patient’s name and stating that you’re looking forward to seeing them will suffice.