Permissions: You must have Organization Administration Permissions.
Automatic Appointment Reminders are an Organization wide setting. Enabling Reminders sets them for your entire Organization. After Appointment Reminders are setup, Staff can enable or disable reminders at a Client level. You can setup one or all of the reminders below:
- Email Reminders - Free
- Phone Reminders - nominal fee per minute in the United States
- Text Reminders - nominal fee per text message in the United States to send the Reminder and nominal fee per text Response (Confirmed, Cancelled, Reschedule).
NOTE: A text message is 160 characters. If your message is more than 160 characters it would be an additional fee. Learn more below.
Additionally, if you choose to use Text and Phone Reminders you will be able to do the following:
- Receive Client Appointment Responses - After a Client responds to the Appointment Reminder (Confirm, Cancel, or Reschedule), TheraNest will log that Response as an updated Client Appointment Status.
Get Staff Appointment Status Notifications - Once a Client has responded to an Appointment Reminder, Staff assigned to the Appointment will receive a notification via TheraNest alerts at the top of their screen. Additionally, Organization Administrators can enable Text Response Notifications for their Organization. This would allow Staff to receive a text message to their mobile device with the Client's response.
IMPORTANT : Enabling Text Message Response Notifications would be an additional cost per response sent to the Staff Member.
Why Use Appointment Reminders
Research shows that on average, mental health providers experience a no-show rate of 23-34%. Some practices have as high as a 60% no-show rate. This not only results in poor outcomes for patients, but in a significant threat to your revenue cycle.
Here’s the math:
Total Loss: $91,872
There are several ways to remind the patient that they have an upcoming Appointment. The three most common ways are via email, phone call or SMS text messaging. Here’s what you need to know about your options.
Email Reminders are a simple message sent to a patient’s designated email address that contain brief HIPAA-compliant messaging reminding the patient of their upcoming Appointment. They are free to use inside of your TheraNest account. One important factor to consider is that, in general, the average open rate for emails is just 22%. That means out of 30 patients per week, only 6-7 of them will read the reminder you send them.
Phone Call Reminders
Phone Call Reminders can also be automated in your TheraNest account for a nominal fee per reminder. If your patients answer, they will hear a brief recorded message reminding them of their upcoming Appointment. If they do not answer, the message will be left on their voicemail. It’s important in this case to note that only 33% of voicemail from business contacts are listened to, and only 18% of voicemail from unknown numbers are listened to.
SMS Text Reminders
Text messages consist of a brief, generic, HIPAA-compliant message sent to your patient’s designated phone number reminding them of their Appointment. What makes this type of reminder a preferred method is the fact that more than 90% of people not only read a text message but read it within the first three minutes of receiving it.
These types of Reminders can also be automated from inside your TheraNest account for a nominal fee per text message in the United States per 160 characters (includes spaces).
- 0 - 160 Characters = 1 Text Message
- 161 - 320 Characters = 2 Text Messages
- 321 - 480 Characters = 3 Text Messages, etc.
Patient Satisfaction Matters
In a recent survey of approximately 14,000 patients who were asked how they would like to be reminded about upcoming Appointment, the results were as follows:
- 48% prefer Text Message
- 29% prefer Phone Call
- 21% prefer an Email Reminder
How effective are Appointment Reminders?
Numerous studies show the effectiveness of Appointment Reminders in the behavioral health setting. Some indicate that no-show rates can be reduced to less than 5%. When considering making the choice for your practice, compare your costs to the potential loss you will experience based on the above math. We think you’ll agree that Appointment Reminders are a very cost-effective way to help improve patient outcomes while strengthening your revenue cycle overall.
Appointment Reminder FAQs
- You have the ability to schedule reminders to be sent multiple times prior to the appointment. Additional reminders will be sent even if the appointment is confirmed, but no additional reminders will be sent if the appointment is canceled. Furthermore, an additional reminder will be sent if the appointment is unconfirmed 24 hours after the first appointment reminder goes out.
- If you use both Phone and Text Reminders, once a User is reached and has input a response (Cancel, Reschedule), TheraNest will stop trying to reach the Client. If a client confirms, additional reminders will be sent based on the selected Reminder Schedule.
- If the client does not respond to the appointment reminder, another reminder will be sent after 24 hours.
Confirmations On The Agenda
Restrict Reminders by Client:
You may set restrictions for reminders for each client.
- Navigate to Clients and Client Details for a specific client.
- In the Contacts section under Email select the desired restrictions:
- When contacted, do not mention agency name.
- Do not contact by phone call.
- Do not contact by text message.
- Do not contact by email.
- Click Save.