Easy Ways to Call Patients for Recall
Are you getting your patients rescheduled for further checkups and other treatment guidelines? No? Then what are you doing? You are missing out on so much.
Why Recall Patients?
When taking the oath of an eye doctor, you pledge that the patient’s health will be your first consideration. But if you don’t recall your patients for follow-up treatments, then you are not keeping your patients as healthy as possible.
Now, let us talk about the economic side. If you recall your patients for further treatments, then you will be able to build a long-term relationship with them. Also, you will generate more revenue if you keep recalling your patients.
If you reach out to your patients, they will feel valued. Sometimes, people look for answers related to healthcare on the internet and get misguided by websites that don’t have their best interests in mind. Instead, if you call them, ask how they are feeling and answer their questions personally, they will feel even more valued.
Effective Ways to Recall Patients
However, even if you want to recall your patients, they may not schedule any appointments in advance. Also, they may be too busy with their work, so they forget to schedule an appointment for follow-up treatments. You, as an eye doctor, need to remind them about their treatment and create a sense of urgency so that you can convince them to come for further treatments.
Having an effective recall strategy will not only boost your revenue, but you can also boost your patient satisfaction and, thus, boost your practice.
Here are some ways by which you can call your patients for recall.
1. Text Messages or Electronic Notifications
Recalling your patients using conventional means is the best way. That way, you can reach out to patients far away, and you can guarantee that they will see the notification.
Text messages are especially popular among youngsters as more than 3300 text messages are sent by an average American teenager, and over 200 trillion text messages are sent daily in America.
You can even send emails. It is popular among people of all ages since over 300 billion email messages are sent every day.
So, this makes texting a very popular method, and everyone will love to get recall notifications via text or emails. It is the fastest-growing method of communication, and most patients prefer text messages.
2. Create Urgency in Message
There is a chance that patients may think the appointment is not much necessary, or they will visit you sometime later. That is why, to ensure that your patient makes an appointment, create a sense of urgency in your message while making sure it is friendly. Ask your patients to contact you as soon as they can and schedule an appointment. Tell your patients how much you are concerned about them, and you look forward to getting their treatment back on track.
3. Reschedule Appointment before Patients Leave
When a patient is coming to your room for some tests or checkup, make sure that they know when the next appointment is before they step out of the door. Whenever someone comes to you for a sick visit, you should always schedule the next checkup. Whether you keep it on or off the record is up to you.
When the front desk staff tries to make an appointment for a recall, the patients may ignore it. A lot of times, the patients forget to call to schedule the next meeting. This is bad for both the health of your patient and your wallet. However, an eye doctor’s words hold more weight than anyone else’s. That is why you should always make sure that you fix an appointment with your patients before they leave.
4. Put More Focus on Long Overdue Patients
You will send messages to all your patients, and it is okay to stick to that if your patients have missed only one or two appointments. However, you need to do more than that for patients whom you haven’t seen in a year.
Call these patients and reschedule a visit. If you can bring back all those old patients, it will cause massive growth in your service. And this is something you should definitely do. If you can recall a hundred patients, you may earn a few thousand dollars of additional revenue.
5. Meet the Scheduling Needs of Your Patients
The office hours may be perfect for you, but perhaps it is not the best time for your patients. So, if you want to increase your patient count, you need to shift your scheduling hours. You can add after-hour slots or weekends and allot this time exclusively for visits.
Make sure that your patients are aware of these extra visiting hours. A text will be helpful. You can even launch a survey where you ask them their preferred day and time.
Adding more hours to your visiting hours means more work. If it is not possible for you, you can always hire part-time practitioners to do the job. Even if they do only 20 visits a week, expect additional hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual revenue.
You need to remember that this is for your benefit, so you will need to be more flexible.
6. Educate your Patients
If you want to attract your patients towards further checkups, you will need to make them understand that their health is your top priority. You need to make them understand the need for regular screening for ailments like oral cancer, glaucoma, and other conditions and teach them how routine exams can help in detecting these problems early.
You can create newsletters and send them to your patient’s emails. Tell them about the early detection of such diseases and describe the services and treatments that you offer to protect them from life-threatening conditions. Also, show them what day and when you offer checkups.
7. Focus on Retaining Patients
As some patients reach a certain age, they may feel uncomfortable talking to you about their conditions, so there is a chance that they may leave your practice and go to someone else. The best way to counter this is to normalize those conditions and talk about them with your patients.
Tell them that this insecurity is a common problem. You can even refer to some other doctor. This way, you can build a good reputation for yourself in front of your patient, and so, you can retain the patient.
Manually calling or texting all your patients all the time can be a pain. You are spending too much time on your phone, which you could have used to practice or having a good time. Even if you hire staff, sending texts and newsletters manually can be expensive.
That is why automation is here. You can contact everyone within minutes but still maintain a personal touch with your patients. And the overall process of setting up an automated recall system is far easier and cheaper compared to hiring staff or sending letters via mail.
Why is Automation Great?
Automation comes with a ton of benefits.
If you take a look at the latest automation technologies, you will see that they have the ability to deliver thousands of notifications per hour, so even the largest patient target list won’t take long. Automated calls allow your patient to seamlessly schedule an appointment with you, and you don’t have to worry about getting over-flooded with requests. Everything will be managed by your system.
You may experience a problem of call throttling, which will reduce the response rate, but that’s not a big deal.
If you send reminders via postal services, there is no guarantee that your letter has reached the right person. If you take the help of an automated system, they will give you detailed reports of each and every attempt made by it. Even if the software cannot contact any of the patients, the calls will automatically be routed to the staff, who would manually call them to make the patients aware of the recalls.
It is costly to send postal mails regularly to hundreds of patients, especially with the rising postal costs. Sending electronic messages can be relatively cheaper, but you will need to spend a lot of time on your phone or hire staff just to do that, so not much profit.
However, automated systems are cheap. It takes only a few cents to send a notification, which is several times less expensive compared to conventional methods. Even though you may not see any changes in the response rate, but still, automation will make you spend less money.
If you have the right tools and the will to reconnect with your patients, recalling your patients isn’t that tough. Once you convince them to come to your chamber and they realize that this appointment was worth the time, they will keep on coming back to you, and you can quickly boost your revenue.