Wording is critical for appointment reminder texts
Recent findings from Sydney’s St Vincent hospital show that changing the wording of appointment reminder texts improved attendance rate at their outpatient clinic by a phenomenal 20 percent.
You can read the full write-up here but to skip straight to the bottom line, the inclusion of messages that highlighted the consequences of no-shows were the most effective. By reinforcing that attendance “avoided $125 cost to the hospital” or “helped the hospital treat as many people as possible”, the messages appealed to patients’ conscience and wallets.
Just with these changes the hospital reduced the cost of no-shows by an estimated $67,000 per annum.
No-shows are a global problem for medical appointments; in the USA a recent MGMA study found even well run practices had no show rates of 12%. The worst had days with 50%!
Copy these key elements
This is a great result, but we’re not overly surprised. When it comes to appointment reminder texts, here’s what works for our customers and why:
Including no-show consequences is the biggest factor
In truth, most would-be patients are well meaning. It’s just unfortunate that many patients see no-shows as a ‘victimless crime’. They don’t see the patient they’ve effectively bumped back in the queue. They don’t see the bottom line of the medical practice that includes staffing highly paid professionals for times when there are no patients to see.
Including no-show consequences changes that. It reinforces the human and financial cost of their complacency – and it will dramatically improve the no-show rate!
Create your own appointment reminder texts
Upwire lets you take appointment reminder texts to the next level. You can even set-up an automated call if a patient SMS replies ‘reschedule’.
Stop no-shows and start sending appointment reminders today. Sign up for a free Upwire trial and receive $10 FREE CREDIT.
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