EMRs With Built-In Reminders Vs An Appointment Reminder Service
What is an EMR or EHR?
There are many EMRs (Electronic Medical Record) or EHR (Electronic Health Record) services out there today. Long gone are the days where even a small clinic could maintain health records in written form. EMR services such as Epic, Allscripts, eClinicalWorks, and Practice Fusion are in large demand from small practices to very large multi-site medical practices.
These EMRs are designed to maintain digital versions of paper charts, notes, patient history, images, current prescriptions, and lots of other information. They also need to be highly secure due to the sensitivity of patients medical records.
The advantages of EMRs with Built-In Appointment Reminders
Many EMRs do offer built-in appointment reminders. One of the major advantages is that they can be configured within your EMR to automatically remind your patients of their upcoming appointments without too much configuration.
If you simply need to send generic appointment reminders for every appointment, with basic information such as appointment date, time and location, then it can often be setup very quickly and easily. However, most practices want or need much more customization and control than is offered in an out-of-box solution.
The disadvantages of EMRs with Built-In Appointment Reminders
High Costs and Setup fees
Cost is definitely something to be considered. Many EMRs do not include appointment reminders with their basic service and instead will provide it as a costly add-on. Some EMRs may even use an external or 3rd party solution. They may charge a large initial fee to set it up, a monthly fee to keep it up, as well as charge you a high price for each appointment reminder that you send.
EMRs with built-in appointment reminders often will have very limited configurability. Unlike a dedicated appointment reminder service, you may not have complete control over things like…
- Sending different messages based on the appointment type
- Including links in texts or emails with additional information or downloadable forms
- Whether to send calls, texts, or emails (Many EMRs will not offer all 3 outreach types)
- When to send out your reminders (EMRs will often have a preset timeframe that is not configurable)
- Allow your patients to reply or confirm your reminders. AppointmentReminders.com allows you to include up to 3 configurable responses in all the outreach types.
- Sending followup reminders or even an automatic outreach after the appointment has happened linking to a survey or questionnaire.
- Ability to send real-time text messages to your patients
Sometimes, you may need to change a message or add a reminder for an appointment. If the built-in appointment reminders do not offer an interface that allows you to do that, you may need to request changes through a support ticket. This can sometimes take days (if you are lucky), or more often weeks to implement. At AppointmentReminders.com, you can log in to the interface and make changes that will take affect immediately.
If your EMR offers built-in appointment reminders, and cost and/or configurability is not a concern, then it may be a good choice for your practice. However, if you are interested in saving money while increasing the flexibility and configurability of the appointment reminders, you should probably use a dedicated appointment reminder service to complement your EMR.
AppointmentReminders.com is one of the leading HIPAA Compliant appointment reminder services in the U.S. and Canada. Not only do we offer prices that are usually way lower than what the EMRs will charge, we can also sync up very quickly and easily to most EMRs. With us, there are no setup fees, or hidden charges and you have complete control over your appointment reminders.