Digital phone reminders for patient visits

Just a quick blurb about a great service I found out about recently. There was a technology future talk over on a post that I can’t seem to find again.  In it, the speaker says a lot of stuff that honestly left me a bit confused.  Whenever technobabble starts mimicking metaphors and you can’t tell if they are talking about something real or symbolic, I tend to glaze over.  But one thing he did convince me of was that if I could imagine something I’d like to automate in 2011, I could probably find it on a free (or nearly free) web app somewhere.

And so it went.  I googled free phone reminders — or something like that — and found a new site I’m in love with… Phonevite.com.  For the low cost of 5 cents a call, this site lets you plug in anyone’s phone number — as many as you like at a time — and they will get a pre-recorded audio message that you speak into your phone.   So I looked over the past month of my patient visits and found that on average I had about 2-4 no-shows or cancellations weekly.  In my quest for a high-efficiency medical practice, eliminating any of those per week would translate into practice revenue enhancements and thus enhance the likelihood of keeping our team going.

There are two versions of Phonevite.com’s services.  A free version that let’s you call up to 25 numbers twice a month — doesn’t really apply to us since my phone number lists will be different every day and time we use it.  On the other hand, their “premium” option is to pay 5 cents per successful call — and YES it actually gives the added service of a success log that lets you know if a number is out of service!  So for the low investment of around a dollar or less daily, I can now add to my “electronic” medical practice’s services a digital phone call reminder feature.  Incidentally, they are endorsed by the Better Business Bureau and they have a stated policy of confidentiality and not selling or sharing any phone numbers with third parties.

This will come in very handy for patients that forget to check their email or those who do not have email accounts.  Very handy indeed!

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC.  He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009.  He can be reached at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

About the author

Dr. Michael West

Dr. Michael West

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC in 2009. He can be contacted at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

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