How can providers convince patients to follow through with follow-up care? Ensuring that patients adhere to medical advice, like taking medication on time or attending all necessary appointments, can result in better health outcomes for patients and decreased costs for providers. On the other hand, appointment no shows or patients who don’t adhere to treatment can lead to long term problems, including poor chronic disease management, missed opportunities for early detection of health conditions, and overall increased cost of care.
As providers strive to deliver high quality care and improve patient health outcomes, providers should also consider how to improve patient adherence. This can mean hiring staff focused on personalized care or providing copay assistance for patients who may otherwise be unable to afford their visits.
But the number one reason patients fail to show up to appointments is simply due to forgetting they had an appointment scheduled. Automated phone reminders by text or call are an efficient and cost-effective tool to promote appointment adherence as well as adherence to other areas of follow-up care. Several studies demonstrate the effectiveness of text message reminders, especially across multiple demographics of patients and even in resource-limited settings. Here are just a few examples: