Reminder calls and texts for patient appointments
We understand that there are times when you must miss an appointment due to emergencies or obligations for work or family. However, when you do not call to cancel an appointment, you may be preventing another patient from getting much-needed treatment. Conversely, the situation may arise where another patient fails to cancel and we are unable to schedule you for a visit, due to a seemingly “full” appointment book.
To ensure Oak Valley Health can continually provide extraordinary care – which includes managing our wait list and times, and providing access to the right care at the right time – for our patients, their families, and the community, we have implemented a reminder call and text program in select program areas. This is an automated call or text that will remind you of an upcoming appointment and ask you to confirm that appointment.
The ARS is an electronic system that is used to provide telephone, email, or text reminders to patients of scheduled appointments.
ARS is being implemented to remind patients of their upcoming appointment(s). Sometimes patients forget appointments or experience unplanned life events which result in missed appointments. The ARS will provide a reminder during the week before a patient’s scheduled appointment so that patients may confirm an appointment and carry out any preparations needed. If a patient informs Oak Valley Health that they are unable to attend the appointment, this will allow other patients to be booked in any unfilled appointment slots.
The number of ‘no shows’ or missed appointments are a concern for Oak Valley Health. When a patient doesn’t show at the appointed time, or doesn’t give sufficient cancellation notice, there is no time to offer that appointment to another patient. This results in underutilized staff and equipment resources, and lost procedure time, resulting in large wait lists and increased wait time for care.
Oak Valley Health will only send reminders through telephone and text at this time. Text reminders are only sent out to cell phone numbers and where a patient has consented to allow Oak Valley Health to text them. As the program evolves, there may be opportunity to look at email options.
The ARS is used to remind you by telephone or text message of an upcoming scheduled appointment during the week prior to your appointment. Appointment reminders will be made to your home phone or cell phone. Your primary phone number given at registration will be used for the reminder or if you have provided your cell phone number and consented to allow Oak Valley Health to text you a text reminder will be sent in place of a voice telephone reminder. You are then able to confirm or informed on how to cancel/reschedule the appointment.
Reminders will be made during the evening between 5 – 9 p.m. local time.
The telephone number 905-472-7025 will appear on the telephone caller ID. For text reminders, the number 1-833-623-1282 will appear on the incoming text message.
Note: If you return a call to 905-472-7025, you will reach a general voicemail box that will inform you that the hospital called you regarding your upcoming appointment.
The day, date, time, department of the scheduled appointment are first mentioned. Once you confirm the appointment special instructions will be identified within the message. You are reminded to bring your health card to the appointment.
At the start of the reminder call, the ARS will say who the call is for and you will be asked to confirm your identity (i.e., this is a call for ‘John Smith’). Once you have confirmed your name, you will hear the reminder and will be asked to press 1 to indicate you will be attending your scheduled appointment or press 2 to cancel or reschedule the appointment. If you press 2 to cancel or reschedule your appointment you will be informed of the appropriate number to call to cancel your appointment. If you have missed the number, you should contact the number listed on the appointment letter, the booking department, or referring physician’s office.
If you accidentally press a wrong selection during the reminder, you should contact the number listed on the appointment letter, the booking department, or referring physician’s office to confirm your appointment and to report the system error.
If there is no answer and there is a voicemail, the ARS is configured to leave a message on the voicemail.
If the patient is not at home, the ARS will ask if the person who answers the telephone can take a message for the patient. If yes is indicated, the appointment reminder is provided.
The ARS is currently configured to make up to one reminder attempt via telephone to confirm an appointment. The ARS is configured to leave a voicemail message if the call was not picked up and will indicate the day, date, time, of a scheduled appointment.
Yes, if an appointment is booked with short notice, most often a reminder will be made.
You should contact the number listed on the appointment letter, the booking department, or referring physician’s office to confirm your appointment and to report the system error.
This is being implemented in clinics and areas in the hospital where we have a higher rate of patients missing their appointments. These areas include diagnostic imaging and select outpatient clinics.
If you would prefer not to receive automated appointment reminders please contact the clinic/department you have your appointment with and they will remove your phone number from the calling list. If you have consented to receive text reminders and prefer not to receive text reminders, each text message will provide you an opportunity to opt out through a link at the bottom of the text reminder, click the shortcut link and follow the directions to opt out. Please click here to opt-out of text reminders.