Tweaking your recall

Jan 12, 2018

I recently had to make a specialist appointment for a routine annual check-up and when I set up the appointment, I discovered that my last visit had been two years ago. I expressed my surprise and mentioned to the receptionist that I used to receive a reminder and had not done so for quite some time. It brought the recall issue to my attention and I did a quick audit of all my health care providers. The dentist sends a blue postcard with some optional dates and times for a next visit. My chiropractor sends me a birthday SMS. My GP sees me regularly enough not to have to send me a reminder, but I receive nothing from my Gynaecologist. Not everyone wants a card but personalising the service to suit the age and lifestyle of patients is critical. It’s not difficult to improve the response to your recall system by adapting little elements in the following way:

    • Personalise the reminder – address the individual by name as opposed to a bulk one size fits all greeting. A birthday message is a discretionary matter but not everyone has legions of family and friends and sometimes your wishes might be the only one they receive – this is especially true amongst the aged.
  • Tailor the message delivery medium to be age and stage appropriate – some patients like a phone call, others prefer an email, others a post card. This information can be obtained when patients are settling their account or collecting their prescription. Find out what they would appreciate and make a note on their file.
  • Stress why a follow-up is important – a real differentiator would be to link the follow-up with a personally relevant reason like a hobby, sport or patient profession.
  • Create an easy response option – have practice details like who to speak to, telephone numbers, email addresses and office hours easily visible, suggested appointment time options available.
  • Keep the message simple and in plain language.

Creating an easy way to interact with your practice is part of customer service 101, it builds your brand, sets you apart and ensures your patients are coming back to you. To highlight the relevance of recall – the monthly recall reminders should reconcile to your appointment diary, the number of patients seen and resulting fees charged. If you are using a recall method ensure it is effective, measure it monthly and annually, notice the trends and if you choose a technological solution don’t assume it’s doing the job properly, keep your eye on the details. Rev up you ROI on recall If you’d like to learn more about maximising reminders as part of a strategy to grow and maintain a sustainable customer base, get in touch with us today.

BY ALISON MAYTHAM

BY ALISON MAYTHAM

“There are many different factors that determine the success of your practice – but, as a busy healthcare professional focusing on the needs of your patients, you may not always have the time to focus on the many demanding, and often complex, facets of managing your business. Vizibiliti provides you with easy access to insightful, comprehensive practice and business management solutions and advice across all stages of your business journey – from establishing, growing or closing your practice.”

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