Cancellations can wreak havoc at a surgery center. There are often many reasons for cancellations but, when patients self-select out of surgery, it often comes down to one thing: adequate communication.
Keep everyone in the loop
Research has shown that patients are more likely to adhere to a surgical schedule if they have a voice in the planning process. In non-emergency cases, it may help to let patients choose from one of a few times to schedule their surgery. This not only increases patient satisfaction but improves patient attendance.
Another significant factor is ensuring the patient is fully informed of how to prepare for surgery, what to expect day of and afterward. With a targeted communication strategy, you can make sure patients receive crucial information via emails and automated text reminders - the right information - at the right time.
- Procedure-specific education: Patients need to adhere to specific requirements to qualify for surgery. With an automated communication platform, you can send patients texts or emails to remind them of their pre-surgery protocol. For example, you can send a patient a text 24 hours before their appointment that says: “Remember to drink your Cologuard 12 hours before your appointment and otherwise, no food or drink.”
- Doctor-specific reminders: Although it may be the same procedure, some doctors may have specific instructions to their patients that they want followed. Give your doctors the ability to communicate directly with their patients.
- Patient-specific reminders: When you have a communication software that integrates directly with the patient's medical history, you can send patients reminders that are specific to them. For example, you can deliver an automated email that says, “Remember to bring your CPAP machine with you to surgery.”
- Caregiver-specific reminders: Often, patients identify a family member or other loved one who will be bringing them to their appointment, helping them get back home, and caring for them during their recovery. With the right software in place, you can send a HIPAA-compliant reminder to the patient’s caregiver to remind them and inform them when the patient is in recovery and anticipated time they will be ready to go home.
Great communication = great care
An efficient digital communication platform helps to save you time. It has also been shown to reduce cancellations. In fact, some research has shown that merely sending one appointment reminder can decrease cancellations. Better communication means better patient care.
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