Client: Sumter Pediatrics
Location: Sumter, SC
Size: 200-300 daily appointments
Solution: PhoneTree Patient Messaging
PhoneTree interviews Jan Shumate, Administrator of Sumter Pediatrics in Sumter, SC
PT: How many appointments do you have on a daily basis?
JS: Between 200 and 300.
PT: Why did you choose PhoneTree?
JS: We saw PhoneTree demonstrated at the CCA Medical Group User Conference. I understood that it would make our messages more consistent, making sure the right information was given to the right parents all of the time. This would also free our staff members to do other tasks. We were short-staffed, with a lot of staff turnover, and needed time to perform other important things in the practice.
PT: That was not happening with your staff member making the reminder calls?
JS: They’re good at what they do, however, after 200 phone calls, it’s hard to be consistent day after day. So now in addition to reminding patients of their appointments, we also tell them other important information. We remind them about insurance information, eating instructions for specific appointment types, and other required information for their visits. And we know our patients will get the reminders. We designate which type of appointment gets what information and PhoneTree delivers it for us.
PT: Is PhoneTree easy to use? And does it fit in with office workflow?
JS: We just make a couple of clicks and PhoneTree does the rest. It’s great and very easy! We reassigned the staff member normally making the calls and she’s now much more productive with other tasks within the practice.
PT: How do you use PhoneTree in your daily activities?
JS: We notify patients two days prior to their visits. We also have a program called “Dr. Promise.” For those patients who are paying on installments, we make an appointment with “Dr. Promise.” Dr. Promise is a fictitious name, but we use it in calling those patients and remind them two days before payment is due. And they appreciate that. We’ve made weather-related announcements and we’re doing recalls with it this year. We also use our PhoneTree system to let people know when a doctor is on vacation. Moving appointments from one doctor to another was really time-consuming for our staff before PhoneTree.
PT: Have you seen a difference in your no-show rate?
JS: Oh, yes. We’ve seen a significant improvement over the live-person phone calls that our staff was making. We have patients confirm their appointments by pressing a number on their telephone key pads. This makes it easy to fill vacant appointments when we know other patients aren’t coming in — and PhoneTree is helping us bring in revenue. That is very beneficial to us.
PT: Do your patients like getting a call from your PhoneTree system?
JS: Many of my patients have told me that they do. They’re reliant upon it now. They expect a call from PhoneTree.
PT: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
JS: I will just say that PhoneTree has made a very positive difference in our practice. It brings in revenue that would have otherwise been lost as well as giving us peace of mind that our patients are taken care of. And, by the way, your customer service is wonderful. One of your technicians called after we had gotten our PhoneTree installed and up and running, just to check and see how things were going. We really appreciated that — so, thank you!