Patient privacy and doctor appointments go hand-in-hand. The healthcare industry takes every measure possible to ensure that a patient’s medical or personal information is safely stored and not spread around and into the wrong hands. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or, HIPAA, is healthcare’s main way of securing data privacy.
Recently, medical appointment reminders have become HIPAA approved. While this is a great step for healthcare providers using automated software, it is important that they understand these five tips for remaining in compliance while also providing the necessary information to those receiving the messages.
Why is HIPAA Important?
HIPAA was created to benefit customers and improve the health insurance system with the simplification of healthcare in general. There are four key reasons why HIPAA is important to patients. This law ensures:
Security of Health Information,
Privacy of Health Data,
Medical Record Copies for Patients,
Patient Notification of Data Breaches
Remaining in compliance is integral for a healthcare company. Taking a look at these five tips can help you cover the necessary bases when creating automated appointment reminders.
1. Take a Good Look at Your Notice of Privacy Practices
Your Notice of Privacy Practice is your key to properly sending out automated appointment reminders to patients. Make sure that your NPP is updated and gives your patients the chance to opt-in or out of SMS or email reminders. Ensure that your policy is clear and specifically states what your patients are opting-in on.
2. Keep Your Patients Held Accountable
3. Know What to Include and Leave Out of Your Appointment Reminders
When creating an appointment reminder, minimize the health information displayed. Use the name of the physician instead of what specialty the physician services. Do not include any information about the treatment plan or diagnosis of a patient in the reminder.
Remember that it is always possible for an unauthorized party to get ahold of this message. Therefore, if you would feel uncomfortable broadcasting the patient information on a talk show, don’t put it in your appointment reminder.
4. Contact Your HIPAA Compliance Officer
Should you still have concerns about how to remain HIPAA compliant, your healthcare practice should have a compliance officer on-hand. They will be able to guide you into the right direction for your automated reminder services.
5. Work with a HIPAA-Compliant Appointment Reminder Service
Choosing the right software provider for automated appointment reminders is important. Going with a HIPAA compliant provider like DoctorConnect is a great way to remain compliant while not having to worry too much about the specifics.
DoctorConnect Helps Your Healthcare Office Stay in Compliance with Appointment Reminders
If your physician’s office is ready to take the steps into automated services for appointment reminders, wait list services, and more, DoctorConnect is prepared to help you take control of your automated services. Contact us today to schedule your demo!
“DoctorConnect.net is vital software for every small, medium and large medical practice and enterprise-level healthcare organization seeking to use technology to create high-performance results,” said Catherine Sampels, Director of Sales at Adtel International. “DoctorConnect has been on the market for almost ten years, being offered directly to end-user practices. Our team has worked diligently to meet the requirements to be compatible with Epic software and we are thrilled to be live in production in the App Orchard. We are grateful for the visibility the App Orchard provides, which will increase our opportunity to continue providing healthcare organizations a mature, stable software platform to automate reminders, recalls, surveys, waitlist, and online reputation management, along with online scheduling, 2-way texting, timeblock messaging and marketing features. DoctorConnect is a complete package for every aspect of patient engagement – from online marketing to attract them, online scheduling and reminders to get them in the door, surveys to assess and improve their experience, recalls to keep them coming back, and payment reminders to make paying fast and easy. It automates a lot of labor intensive processes.
AdTel International is a privately owned software development company based in Dallas, Texas. In business since 1992, we have chosen to employ all development, sales and support staff at our headquarters in Dallas to maintain quality assurance on delivering the highest quality software and superior, personalized customer support. DoctorConnect.net is communication technology used in healthcare practices of every specialty and size. By automating processes, it simplifies workflow which enhances operations to improve efficiency, reduce overhead and increase profitability.
‘More Disruption Please’ program to optimize revenue, operational efficiency, marketing, and patient experience for healthcare organizations of all sizes.
DALLAS, TX, June 15, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — Adtel International, Inc., developer of DoctorConnect.net patient engagement software, today announced a partnership with athenahealth, Inc. through athenahealth’s ‘More Disruption Please’ (MDP) program. As part of the athenahealth® Marketplace, this newly integrated application is now available to athenahealth’s growing network of 114,000 healthcare providers to increase revenue by reducing no-shows, filling openings with waitlist notifications and online scheduling, increasing patient retention with recalls, and growing the practice through expanded and improved online presence.
“DoctorConnect.net offers valuable software for small, medium and large medical practices and enterprise level healthcare organizations that improves profitability and efficiency,” said Catherine Sampels, Director of Sales at Adtel International. “We are honored and excited to be part of the MDP program. The relationship with athenahealth gives us the opportunity to continue providing healthcare organizations a mature, reliable software platform to automate reminders, recalls, surveys and online reputation management, along with online scheduling, 2-way texting, timeblock messaging and marketing features.”
When it comes to maximizing your appointment schedule and slashing your no-show rate, DoctorConnect has the industries best solution – proven week after week, client by client.
Below is an actual email from one of our clients. By using DoctorConnect‘s Automated Medical Reminders, client was able to cut no-shows by 50% in the very first week! What kind of revenue increase would that mean for your clinic? Give us a call and let us show you how easy it is to implement our system at your practice.
We have had a very successful first week. We have gone from 70 no shows the week before we started DoctorConnect to 30 not including today’s.
In the modern age, cancelling plans seems to be something we have all just come to accept. This casual cancellation approach isn’t just with friends and family; it also happens to physicians. Even though appointment reminders help to greatly reduce no-shows, these situations still happen.
In fact, patient no-shows happen so regularly, that many physicians have signs in their lobbies stating that you will be billed a hefty fee for not cancelling within 24-hours. Patient no-shows, and current resolutions are problematic for several reasons. Find out why it is important to monitor patient no-shows and come up with a way to handle them that reduces this loss in profit.
How Do Missed Appointments Impact an Office?
Missed appointments without an advanced notice have an impact on a doctor’s office. While many patients may think that their no-call/no-show doesn’t matter, in reality, they are costing themselves and the physician money. That empty space in a doctor’s schedule could have been filled with a patient that would have actually shown up.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the average rate of no-shows is very high and results in loss of revenue. Only 63 percent of medical groups actually track their missed appointments, with only 46 percent of groups with no-shows actually trying to address the problem.
Impromptu missed appointments leave gaps in a physician’s schedule that prevent them from filling the missed appointment with reliable patients. This not only impacts revenue, but with the rising trend of charging for no-shows, many patients just don’t follow up. Sadly, this results in patients not receiving the proper care that they need. Other ways that poor no-show management impacts the office include:
Wasted staff time
Decline in patient satisfaction
A backed-up schedule
A physician’s office can only leave so many messages before tracking the trail of your patient becomes taxing and complicated. Many offices use outdated systems like spreadsheets and prepared documents. With DoctorConnect, there is a presented option to monitor and manage patient no-shows.
Best Practices for No-Show Management with DoctorConnect
Many physicians can easily turn to blaming the patient as their no-show management. Take a good look at your office and how it is run. Is your office automated? Do you have a reminder and follow-up system in place?
DoctorConnect can help your office with our No-Show Management feature with our software. With DoctorConnect, you don’t have to pick up a phone to reach out to your patients. If you find that you have a no-show on your hand, simply select the right item on our dashboard and your patient will automatically be sent a text informing them that they have missed their appointment and need to reschedule.
This creates a time saving solution that will help you best keep track of the patients who routinely miss appointments. The rescheduling is on them, but at least your office no longer has to use its precious time to reach out to a voice message.
Wait List Management
Aside from sending bulk messages for patients to reschedule their appointment, DoctorConnect helps your office fill those gaps in your schedule. With our Wait List Management feature, patients have the option to join a waitlist that correlates with your office schedule. Upon a cancellation or no-show, patients on the wait list are notified, and your schedule can remain filled. On top of this, your patients continue to get the care that they need.
Request a Demo for DoctorConnect’s No-Show Management Software
If your physician’s office is tired of having to deal with the creation of complex spreadsheets and placing manual calls out to patients who don’t show up, DoctorConnect is here to help. Utilize our No-Show Management software and make sure that your patient is well taken care of via our program. Get started easy by requesting a demo today so we can show you how our system can increase the efficiency of your office.
Looking for ways to improve your practice’s performance in 2018?
Join us as we share ideas on efficiently increasing revenue, reducing revenue leakage, increasing patient retention, generating new business, meeting points for MIPS and how to start making your website work for you.
We are hosting a webinar for Allscripts clients on Wednesday, January 10th at 1pm EST.
AdTel International is excited to announce we are now an approved HCA vendor. We look forward to providing DoctorConnect.net patient engagement software to all facilities in the US and UK wanting to increase revenue, reduce overhead, improve patient satisfaction and meet requirements for MIPS.
The CMS ruling has been finalized on Emergency Preparedness in Healthcare.
DoctorConnect.net gives you the tools you need for fast, effective communication with staff and patients during emergencies. The TimeBlock and Bulk messaging feature allows you to communiciate with patients and staff simultaneously from anywhere with customizable notifications of practice closings, location changes, and schedule changes in emergency situations. This DoctorConnect.net feature has voice, text message, and email messaging capability. Text message is the most effective when landlines are down.
CMS states in the final rule, that the emergency preparedness requirements will be consistent and enforceable for all affected Medicare and Medicaid providers and suppliers, and address the three key essentials they believe are necessary for maintaining access to healthcare services during emergencies: safeguarding human resources, maintaining business continuity and protecting physical resources.
“Situations like the recent flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, remind us that in the event of an emergency, the first priority of healthcare providers and suppliers is to protect the health and safety of their patients,” said Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, CMS deputy administrator and chief medical officer. “Preparation, planning and one comprehensive approach for emergency preparedness is key.”
“As people with medical needs are cared for in increasingly diverse settings, disaster preparedness is not only a responsibility of hospitals, but of many other providers and suppliers of healthcare services. Whether it’s trauma care or long-term nursing care or a home health service, patients’ needs for healthcare don’t stop when disasters strike; in fact, their needs often increase in the immediate aftermath of a disaster,” said Nicole Lurie, MD, Health and Human Services assistant secretary for preparedness and response. “All parts of the healthcare system must be able to keep providing care through a disaster, both to save lives and to ensure that people can continue to function in their usual setting. Disasters tend to stress the entire healthcare system, and that’s not good for anyone.”
Doctorconnect.net is an interactive patient communication service using automated two-way text/SMS, voice, and email communications to increase patient and family engagement. Doctorconnect will be attending two Las Vegas shows in September 2017, The International Vision West Expo and Association of Otolaryngology Administrators.
Ross Manley, Vice President of AdTel, said, “AdTel is proud to support these associations and the members by attending these informative conferences. Doctorconnect will be at booth MS4049 at the Vision West Expo 2017 Thursday, September 14 to Saturday, September 16 in the Sands Convention Center. AdTel will at the Association of Otolaryngology Administrators (AOA) show Monday, September 18 to Wednesday September 20 located at the Venetian Resorts. At the AOA 2017 our booth number will be 4106.”
Doctorconnect will demonstrate many new user features and service upgrades. These features include better security with our migration to Microsoft Azure database, integrated payment due notices, lab result notifications, several new API partners, and custom patient surveys by location and provider. The new redesigned survey is specifically tooled to allow you to increase and track patient satisfaction for MIPS as well as measuring performance across providers and locations. Online reputation is including with surveys and will increase your practice ratings on all the major review websites.
International Vision Expos, the worldwide conference and exhibition for eyecare and eyewear, are trade-only events that draw more than 30,000 eyecare professionals each year. Co-owned by Reed Exhibitions and The Vision Council, International Vision Expo gives back to the entire ophthalmic community. Proceeds from International Vision Expo are used by The Vision Council to educate consumers about the importance of vision care and the options in eyewear and other related products. In 2016, The Vision Council reached millions of consumers with its messages through marketing materials, public relations outreach and strategic partnerships. International Vision Expo & Conference is a proud supporter of Think About Your Eyes, a national public awareness campaign, presented by The Vision Council and the American Optometric Association, designed to educate the public on the benefits of vision health and promote the importance of getting an annual comprehensive eye exam. Keep this vital campaign going! Sign up at enroll.thinkaboutyoureyes.com.
DoctorConnect.net is a subsidiary of AdTel International, Inc. that provides automated text, voice or email reminders to patients of upcoming scheduled appointments, reminders of vaccination schedules, re-care reminders, notices of availability of test results, notices of prescription refills, and notices of appointment schedule changes. The system allows patients to confirm appointments automatically or request a change in appointment time if necessary. The service is used by a variety of healthcare providers in a wide range of specialties and general medical practice as well as dentists, veterinarians, chiropractors, therapists, and home health providers.
DoctorConnect.net is a privately held corporation based in Dallas, Texas that has been providing communication systems through innovative technology since 1992. DoctorConnect may be contacted at 972-503-0717 or via our website.