Calling your patients to remind them of their upcoming appointments is a routine burden for practice staff, taking time away from more human ways to add value. It is useful — even essential — but, well, boring and repetitive. With our email reminders, we already alleviated this chore to a point where some of our practices rely on email almost exclusively. But for many patients, a call makes all the difference in the world. It is well-known in the industry that phone reminders reduce no-shows like nothing else.
Which is why we are happy to bring the convenience of automated phone reminders to DocMeIn today. Without exaggeration, this update is the most anticipated ever in the history of DocMeIn, and, dare we say it, in the history of online appointment scheduling. The wait is now officially over, it is here: the most affordable and convenient way to automate reminders for all of your patients, whether they prefer email, phone — or both! It is just another chore that we are happy to do for you.
With no monthly fees and no minimum charges, you can continue to take advantage of DocMeIn’s best-in-class appointment management, email reminders, recalls and patient self-scheduling — all entirely free with no usage caps. But here is how it works if you want to add phone reminders for some or all of your appointments.
When you schedule a new appointment or update an existing one (including ones added to your calendar prior to this announcement), you will now notice a new Voice Reminder drop-down just below the Email Reminder options you already know and love.
You can choose whether you need an email reminder, a phone reminder, neither or both for each appointment.
Before you start using voice services, you have to enable them in your account settings. The phone reminder options become available after you enter your payment details and validate your phone number, which we will automatically use as the caller ID for you.
While in settings, you will also notice that there is a new messaging template available for you to customize voice reminders as you wish. That’s right: we are not expecting everyone to use the exact same dull prerecorded message. You get the exact same flexibility to customize your phone reminders as you already have with email reminders, DocMeIn-style. Not only are some parts of the message resolved dynamically for each reminder (patient’s name, date and time of the appointment, etc), but we also convert the resulting message into a pleasant sounding voice.
Before you think we are rocket scientists (well, some of us had such aspirations earlier in our careers, but here we are), we’ll confess: we don’t do the heavy text-to-speech and telephony lifting ourselves. After much experimentation and evaluation, we chose the best technologies available on the market to power DocMeIn’s voice features. The first time we got a phone reminder from DocMeIn, we were positively blown away by the quality of what we heard. Give it a try and you’ll never have a reason to make a reminder call yourself again. We even let the patient confirm or cancel the appointment while we have them on the line.
This release marks a significant milestone for DocMeIn as it is the first time ever we are asking our users to pay for something on our platform. One this it certainly does not mark is the end of investment in our free offering. We are as motivated as ever to continue to build out DocMeIn and to expand our free scheduling services in ways nobody else does. In the words of one wise man: Create more value than you capture. This dictum is a cornerstone of our philosophy and will continue to guide our product decisions. On the Internet, we don’t have to charge you for everything, but a little bit here and there helps us sustain the innovation and keep delighting our users.