Professional "Reminder" Technology Automates Patient Confirmation, Conserving Staff Hours and Recapturing Lost Income

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Modern software that harnesses the computer telephony integration computer to the telephone yields annualized improvements in income of tens of thousands of dollars.

What medical practitioner wouldn't like to simultaneously reduce wasted staff hours while boosting productivity and improving patient care? Sound too good to be true? Not at all. In a case of technology working for the benefit of the doctor, staff and the patient, today's latest iterations of computer telephony integration tools employ uncomplicated software programs to dial the telephone to remind patients of their coming appointment. In such straightforward manner, staff is freed up to perform more productive work, patient "no shows" drop dramatically, and the office's "bottom line" ascends proportionately.

Medical offices that take proactive measures to avoid this loss usually do so by manually picking up the telephone and attempting to reach every patient "on the books" for the following day. Performed during office hours, this time-consuming practice pulls staff away from completing important (read, revenue generating) tasks such as billing, new patient marketing, and even back office functions where such duties are shared.

"There wasn't enough time for someone to sit and just call patient after patient," bemoans Liz Young, office manager for Dr. Anthony Farrow of Philadelphia, PA. "Sometimes it would be a problem where we couldn't reach them at home during the day and they could only be reached on the job and often people didn't have answering machines; these were the reasons we needed something. So we went to a convention and saw the ReminderPro software and bought it."

Representative of a number of modern computer telephony integration aids available to medical practitioners today, ReminderPro (TM)--published by JulySoft of Tucson, Arizona--takes over the tedious and time absorbing task of calling patients.

"Before, we couldn't always reach someone during regular working hours, but between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., when ReminderPro calls, 98% of the calls reach a person or an answering machine," notes Young. "This enables us to get the insurance, billing and other paperwork done, such as scheduling appointments, so it has made a big difference."

By significantly reducing income loss due to appointment "no shows," professional reminder software provides an almost immediate payback.

At the Addabbo Family Health Center in Arverne, NY, the daily no-show rate soared up to 40 missed appointments per day without the use of computer telephony integration software. At an average visit of $155, the loss amounted to $6,200 each workday. Once implemented, one professional-reminder software package yielded an annualized recapture of gross income of $1,023,000.

The gains rapidly accumulate even in smaller, one-doctor office settings, if from labor savings alone.

"When we called our patients ourselves, there was not enough time for filing and other work that needed to be done in the office," recalls assistant Vianey Vergara at the Sanchez Medical Center in South Gate, CA., who calculated labor loses at $6,336 per year. "Now our work gets done while ReminderPro makes those calls, and more patients come in for their appointments." Reversing a previous average of 8-10 "no shows" per day brought in a calculated $63,360 per year.

Other examples of computer telephony integration at work for the benefit of all include programs that act as talking databases to deliver answers to frequently asked questions, and educational messages that patients can listen to while on hold. Add these programs to a professional reminder program, and large medical centers and hospitals can truly take advantage of technology--proving that you can't get too much of a good thing.

For more information, contact JulySoft at (800) 350-7693 (phone); (520) 797-0552 (fax);; or 610 East Knox Drive; Tucson, Arizona 85705.

Donna Lepley


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