In part one of this blog post we covered two ways that patient portals and text messaging can improve clinical operations and communication between patients and providers. These technologies provide more ways to reach your patients and allow your staff to eliminate time-consuming tasks that take away from other critical functions in their day. Here are two additional reasons to consider adding patient portal software and text messaging capabilities to your practice management software suite.
Fewer Phone Calls
It’s no secret that phone calls take up a lot of time for the staff members at any medical clinic. In many clinics, phone calls are the primary method for:
- Scheduling appointments
- Appointment reminders
- Insurance verification or correcting insurance issues
- Consent forms
- Medication refill requests
- Reporting lab or test results
- Billing and payments
Adding to the time your staff spends on the phone is the amount of “phone tag” they will have to play with patients for things like appointment reminders, medication refills, and lab results reporting. On average, people answer fewer than half the calls they receive, so there’s a good chance your staff has to leave a message and hope the person calls back in a timely manner. In many cases, they may have to make multiple calls before reaching the person. Using portals to report normal lab results, receive and complete medication refill requests, and provide access to the patient’s medical record and pay bills can cut down on total time spent on the phone.
It can also improve satisfaction ratings since your patients won’t have to try and remember to call during business hours for simple things like medication refill requests, and they can reach out to providers to get simple questions answered without the need for an appointment.
Fewer Missed Appointments
Text messages are one of the most effective methods to remind patients about upcoming appointments. They are inexpensive and easy to send, and easy to send with the right automated appointment reminder software. Plus 90% of all texts are read within 3 minutes of receipt, so they are a super effective method for reaching a patient.
Increasing Total Clinic Revenues
Text messages have the capability to dramatically boost your total revenues—first, by cutting down on no-show appointments and eliminating gaps in your clinical schedule; and second, by increasing total collections and shortening total days in A/R for your outstanding patient invoices. More than one-third of patients said it was difficult for them to remember to pay bills on time, and sending multiple invoices by mail is expensive for your clinic. Sending texts when a payment due date is approaching can provide a reminder and keep costs low.
To find out how easy it is to implement a patient portal and text messaging in your clinic, contact AdvancedMD for a demo today.