Patients of Fitzgibbon Hospital and its affiliated clinics have a new way to get appointment reminders and confirmations through their method of choice: through text messaging, email or phone call. This new electronic notification feature will go-live soon and will send both reminders and prompt patients to confirm their existing appointments.
“We are so pleased the Fitzgibbon organization finally has the capacity to reach our patients in this manner for appointment confirmations,” said Angy Littrell, president and CEO of Fitzgibbon Hospital. “This platform offers an important tool in patient communication to our patients and will bring many efficiencies to our operations and enhance our clinics’ ability to reach patients. And it’s important that our patients are aware this is occurring so they will respond in a timely manner. ”
“This is something we have worked very hard to implement over the last several months, and we are excited to see it finally become available for our patients. It will make it more convenient for them and will also help them stay engaged with their health as they continue to live their busy lives,” said Susan Forst, Director of Clinic Operations for the Fitzgibbon organization.
Patients who are already scheduled will receive a message if their cell phone number is listed in their patient record. The message will remind them of their upcoming appointment seven days prior and will ask them to confirm the appointment. If they confirm the appointment, they will receive a reminder message 24 hours before their visit. If they do not respond to the seven-day confirmation request, they will receive a confirmation message two days prior to their visit asking them to confirm their appointment.
“When a patient does not show up for an appointment, it means that someone else who is waiting to be seen by one of our providers may miss out on the opportunity to be seen as quickly. We really want to eliminate ‘no shows’ so that people no longer need to wait to receive care,” said Forst.
Another feature will allow patients to request a new appointment if their originally scheduled appointment time no longer works for them. When they receive the confirmation message, they can answer “N” for no, and it will alert the staff to aid in re-scheduling that patient in another time slot that is more convenient.
“At a time when people are working different shifts or have a hard time calling in to the office to re-schedule their appointments, having the ability to interact with the staff with this new texting tool will be very convenient for our patients,” said Forst.
The new feature will be utilized for patients at all Fitzgibbon-operated family practice clinics: Marshall Family Practice, Missouri Valley Physicians, Mid-Missouri Family Health, Grand River Medical Clinic, Akeman-McBurney Medical Clinic, Fitzgibbon Family Health in Fayette and Pilot Grove Medical Clinic. The system also will go live for patients at Marshall Women’s Care, Fitzgibbon Mental Health, Marshall Surgical Associates.as well as Fitzgibbon Rehabilitation services and for patients at the Fitzgibbon Community Cancer Center. All specialty provider clinics at the hospital, such as wound care, podiatry, and rheumatology also will be using this new electronic notification feature.