The reminder system all doctors should use

Sometimes it’s helpful to get a reminder about a medical appointment. But sometimes it’s just really annoying.

When they call at 8:30 and I’m still asleep, I don’t want that call. When I’m busy, I don’t want that call. When I have 5 appointments coming up and they all seem to call on the same day, I definitely don’t want those calls.

Except I sort of do. Reminders can be helpful when I’m dealing with dozens of appointments every year.

And that’s why I think my dentist’s reminder system is brilliant and I don’t understand why more don’t do this.

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See this email message? How great is this?! As soon as I make an appointment I get this message. I click on one of the options. If I don’t want a reminder phone call I won’t get one! If i click to be reminded, they send another email a few days before the appointment. If I don’t click on any of the options in that message, they call me. If someone doesn’t want to give the office an email address, they call instead.

Yes, I’m sure this isn’t cheap for them. But then again, think of all of the staff hours they save by not having someone calling all of their patients! And instead of leaving messages on voicemail systems that might be garbled, they get to send a clear, simple email message.

And on my end, I find this so much better than a phone call! It’s not disruptive, I can easily see the date and time, and it’s quick and easy to respond.

A simpler version is the bland, impersonal, highly useful email I get from my naturopath a couple days before each appointment. I don’t know if she sends those manually or if they’re automated, but either way, they’re simple. They remind me of my appointment. They say the date and time. I don’t need to respond. I don’t have to do anything. I don’t even have to deal with a phone call.

Some people prefer phone calls, and it’s great that they still have that option. But it’s 2016 now. It’s about time more medical offices catch up and use email to confirm appointments. Then maybe in another 20 years they’ll be ready to use apps!

Is this unusual? What do your medical providers do? Please comment and let me know – I’m very curious!

10 Responses to The reminder system all doctors should use

  1. Kelly Alive says:

    Never seen that before, and I love it!

  2. A few of my specialists have automated text message services. They remind you of the date/time of your appointment, and request that if you need to change your appointment, you call x number. I far prefer that system to receiving phone calls.

  3. Ms. Mango says:

    Most of my doctors don’t even give a call reminder, even if it’s been months since my last appointment. My youngest’s pediatrician calls the day before to confirm and I love it, even if I don’t answer they leave a simple message and I have no need to call back unless I’m cancelling. My physiotherapist though does send emails and I’ve always thought it was a great way to communicate. I’m guessing its less time consuming on their part too than having someone spend all day on the phone calling people. I would definitely love if they implemented this system more often!

  4. Lorna says:

    Here in the Uk we have text messages too. It sends onne out when the appointment is made, then one a week before, then two days before appointment. It is really easy to store to calendar for your own reminder system.
    How is your foot now? Can you walk ok on it now.
    Lorna xx

    • chronicrants says:

      That sounds great! And thanks for asking – my foot is much better. It’s not 100%, but it’s getting close. I walk ok. I just need to keep up with my exercises.

  5. jacksdavie says:

    The majority of the clinics I go to send text mesage reminders. Definately prefer that to email. Somehow I find it easy to ignore or forget emails… Same with calls but fortunately texts stick in my memory usually. I also use reminders in apps… Sometimes several for the same appt.

    P. S. Your comment about doctors offices using apps in 20 years time was hilarious.

  6. This is a pretty cool concept. My rheumatologist used automated text messages & you either reply ‘YES’ to confirm the appointment or call up to reschedule or cancel. So much better than getting a phone call in my opinion.

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