October 29, 2021
A group of aging athletes in their 60s, 70s and even 80s made national news recently. Why? These men meet weekly to play ice hockey! The senior hockey players gleefully admitted that knee and hip replacements had made it possible for them to keep playing a game they love, rather than only sit on the sidelines cheering for their grandchildren.
It is the type of uplifting story that news stations sometimes run as an antidote to the mostly depressing news they must report. The story also points to the changing nature of orthopaedic patients. These aging boomers, along with their younger counterparts, are passionately living active lives. They expect providers to empower them as they continue to engage physically, socially and even technologically with the world today.
As orthopaedic practices care for a growing number of active (and aging) Americans, integrated solutions to facilitate patient intake and reminders—as well as streamlined patient payment solutions with back-end payment processing—make a lot of sense. Not only do such solutions make administrative tasks faster and easier for orthopaedic staff, they delight patients who want personalized engagement and payments options.
Connect with Patients on their Terms
People who need orthopaedic care (like most people!) are busy. Appointment reminders—sent via email, phone, or text, depending on what works best for each patient—help them to stay on track. Research shows that appointment reminders delivered via digital platforms improve appointment response rates by 50 percent.
But don’t go overboard!
If a patient confirms the appointment, remaining reminders should stop. Reminding patients of upcoming appointments is only one benefit from advance communication. Reminders can be used to prepare patients with pre-appointment instructions. And it is possible to add actionable items to reminders, such as adding appointments to digital calendars, completing check-in forms, or viewing a cost estimate.
Digital outreach can include payment options, such as text-to-pay and patient payment portals. Technology exists to provide patients with tailored payment options based on individual ability to pay, giving patients more options to handle their financial responsibility. And research shows that providers who give patients a payment portal option receive a 20 percent lift in received payments.
With smart technology solutions, patient communications and payment options can be streamlined and can address every need in the patient financial journey. They also free up orthopaedic staff time for other tasks that truly need a human touch!