Carefully scripted patient reminders are critical to a successful and HIPAA compliant patient communication strategy.
1. Keep it Concise
Not only will your patient appreciate a brief reminder, but the new FCC regulations require that the reminders be kept short.
2. Get to the Critical Info. Quickly
Make sure to put the clinic name and the appointment date and time as early in the appointment reminder as possible. Remember, your patients have busy lives, and the quicker you get them the critical information, the better.
3. Be Careful What is Included (HIPAA)
Be careful not to provide any information that could violate HIPAA privacy laws. In many cases, the safest course of action is to just say "you have an appointment." Don't put any extra information about the nature of the appointment into the reminder unless its required for a successful visit. An example where you might want to put additional information is: "your appointment requires fasting or remember to bring your bathing suit for aqua-therapy."
4. Only Provide What Is Needed for Each Patient
If just your new patients need to know your address and to arrive 20 minutes early, make sure your established patients don't hear this in the message.
5. Consider A No-Show Fee Warning
If no-shows continue to be a problem at your practice, even after adding automated reminders, you should consider adding a no-show fee warning to your message. The language you use can vary from very strict to somewhat flexible depending on the culture of your practice.