DSC Tech Library
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to voice broadcasting and Auto Dialer software and products.
The PACER and Wizard phone systems are PC based call center phone systems that are recognized as premier inbound and outbound computer telephony systems. Features such as automatic call distribution (ACD), Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and call recording have added a new dimension to the predictive dialer and auto dialer capabilities of these systems. These computer based dialing systems can perform various types of auto dialing campaigns simultaneously including voice broadcasting. These types include Predictive Dialing, Progressive Dialing, Preview Dialing and Dial on Demand.
Patient Reminder Calls Improve Office Visit Attendance
The following article is entitled "Patient Reminder Calls Are a Cost-effective Way of Improving Adherence to Office Visits" By Brian Boyle, MD. It was presented at the 15th International AIDS Conference and republished on the internet.
Adherence to HAART and overall medical care are important issues among HIV-infected patients. While numerous adherence studies have addressed medication related issues, few studies have addressed the reasons why patients do not adhere to scheduled office visits and interventions that might improve patient adherence to those visits.
In a study from New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, patients were randomly selected to receive or not to receive a telephone reminder call a day before the next scheduled office visit for a variety of health care providers (physician, nurse, nutritionist, social worker) or laboratories.
During each call, the patient was reminded of the scheduled office visit the next day. In addition, as a part of the reminder call, a brief, standardized questionnaire was administered asking if the patient planned on attending the appointment and, if not, the reason or reasons for non-attendance.
Subsequent to the scheduled visits, all patients who had failed to attend their scheduled office visit were contacted and a brief, standardized questionnaire was administered asking the patient for the reason or reasons for non-attendance. I
In addition, a cost effectiveness analysis was performed and hospital fees were calculated depending on the type of insurance coverage the patients had and the revenue generated by the average office visit associated with that coverage: AIDS drug assistance program (ADAP) and Medicaid an average of $122.15 and Medicare and Commercial insurance an average of $173.25.
Of the 609 patients involved, 382 (63%) received and 227 (37%) did not receive an office visit reminder call. There were no significant demographic differences between the study population and the entire clinic population or the call or no call groups involved in this study.
Office visit attendance occurred in 321 (83%) of the patients who received a reminder call and 22 (9.7%) of the patients who did not receive a call. (p<.05).
Among the patients who received or did not receive a reminder call, a variety of reasons were stated for non-attendance to the office visits, with the most common reasons given by the patients being: no specific reason or explanation (8 vs. 64), forgot the date (0 vs. 56), patient cancellation (36 vs. 48) and prior engagement (1 vs. 17).
Assessing cost-effectiveness, the total time of the unit secretary required to make the reminder calls was 40 hours and the approximate total cost was $800.00.
The improved patient attendance at office visits due to the reminder calls generated revenue of approximately $21,628.53 in 16 days and the net gain to the clinic was $20,828.53 ($21,628.53 - $800.00).
Further, while difficult to calculate, non-monetary benefits also accrued due to the reminder calls, including assurance of appropriate patient follow-up and treatment and better utilization of clinic resources, including physician time.
The authors conclude, “Reminder calls are a simple and cost-effective method for improving patient adherence to office visits.”
C Quinones and others. A simple method to improve adherence to office visits: appointment reminder calls. Abstract WePeB5802 (poster).