Every Medical Appointment Needs HIPAA Compliant Appointment Reminders

Patient no shows are more than just an inconvenience or annoyance. They result in the loss of revenue, increased operational expenses, and more burden on office staff. Not to mention that when a patient doesn’t show up on time, it also affects people who could have been seen instead of that patient. Bridge’s appointment reminder solution aims to alleviate this by giving provider groups the ability to cost-effectively deliver customizable appointment reminder messages to large patient populations, from real-time calendar data. Appointment reminders can be sent via email, SMS text, and/or push notification for appointments made both inside and outside of Bridge’s patient portal, even for patients that haven’t registered for a patient portal account.

The big problem with traditional appointment reminder software solutions is the management of patients that opt out of them. When disparate patient communication tools are used, each must have their own opt-in/out administration panel, policy and agreements. This becomes impossible to manage and therefore most organizations are out of compliance. By centralizing a patient opt-in/out preferences in a single system, you become more compliant, avoid the over-sending of messages and can take greater advantage of these communication tools.

Mobile-Ready Solution

With Bridge, patients can receive appointment reminders in real-time on any mobile device. Patients can receive notifications via email, SMS or as an in-portal message. If a patient has the mobile app they are able to receive appointment reminders via push notifications on their mobile device.

Setting Bridge Apart from the Competition

Many of today’s industry-leading patient self-scheduling solutions were built to handle the scheduling of routine office visits. They are not well equipped to handle the scheduling of multi-disciplinary, non-routine visits that require the advanced decision trees and complex logic that goes with the scheduling of those appointments (clinical questions, insurance clearance, physician clearance). Bridge’s solution is a rules-based, enterprise-wide scheduling solution that ensures a patient can work their way through the proper clinical screening and select from conflict-free times. The solution was built to easily handle complex scheduling decision trees that are adaptable to any provider group and the unique schedules of their providers. Scheduling 100% of visits online in most cases is impossible, but getting to a 80+ percent rate is a goal we strive for. For appointments we can’t schedule, we simply defer the user to a specially designed request form which is sent to a tasking center or to call a number.

Interface Functionality

Through deep integrations into many of the industry’s leading EHR/PM systems Bridge is able to send HIPAA compliant messaging appointment reminders using real-time appointment data. Bridge’s system uses known patient preferences to notify the patient of the appointment on their preferred platform (Email, SMS, In-Portal, Push Notification Via Mobile App) and in their preferred language.

Features and Benefits

Customizable MessagesTake advantage of mail merges to mass mail customized messages to patient population.
English/SpanishAll messages available in English/Spanish.
HIPAA-CompliantSolution is completely HIPAA compliant.
Push Notification CapabilitiesSend push notifications to patients phone via the mobile app.
EHR/PM System IntegratedAppointment data is coming right from the EHR/PM System(s).
Custom Triggered NotificationsTrigger specific notifications for different types of appointments.

FAQs

Does Bridge offer automated patient notification via SMS and Email

Yes. Bridge has a robust admin panel that allows for the easy setup of SMS and Email notifications. These can be used for a variety of features, including:

  • Appointment Confirmations
  • Patient Recall Messaging Software
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Health Summaries
  • New Documents
  • Rx Refill Status Change
  • New Invoices
  • New Lab Results
  • New Message

To learn more about SMS and Email notifications, please see: The Facts about HIPAA and Email/SMS Communication with Patients.

To learn more about sending appointment reminders securely, please see: How to Send Automated Patient Appointment Reminders Without Jeopardizing Patients’ Data Security.

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Does Bridge offer IVR services for notifications or reminders?

Bridge offers IVR reminders and notifications, along with bidirectional patient messaging, SMS, Email, and Push-based notifications/reminders. The IVR-based calls also support user-inputted responses (i.e., “Press 1 to confirm, or 2 to cancel your upcoming appointment”)

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What messaging features does Bridge offer?

Bridge has a robust admin panel that allows for the easy set up of IVR reminders and notifications, along with bidirectional patient messaging, SMS, Email, and Push-based notifications/reminders. The IVR-based calls also support user-inputted responses (i.e., “Press 1 to confirm, or 2 to cancel your upcoming appointment”). Patients can use a direct messaging protocol granted the provider has a direct message address.

Bridge supports patient mass messaging functions in the administration panel. Simply select the criteria of patients that you want to send a message to by selecting from an extensive list of filters, then either export the list of patients to send the message in your email messaging software or send a message directly from Bridge. Bridge supports both SMS and email mass messaging.

 

Messaging can be used to communicate:

 

*Reminder, it is a HIPAA violation to include names or PHI in an email or SMS text. That being said, depending on the content of the email/SMS, who the email/SMS is being sent to, or mechanisms put in place to ensure the integrity of Protected Health Information (PHI), email/SMS can comply with HIPAA in certain circumstances. The patient also can sign an opt-in agreement (where they accept the risks of PHI in messages) with a health organization and receive PHI via email/SMS. The opt-in agreement is a common practice among Bridge clients.

To learn more about SMS and Email notifications please see: The Facts about HIPAA and Email/SMS Communication with Patients

To learn more about sending appointment reminders securely please see: How to Send Automated Patient Appointment Reminders Without Jeopardizing Patients’ Data Security

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Is it a HIPAA violation to include names or PHI in an email or SMS text?

The short answer is yes. That being said, depending on the content of the email/SMS, who the email/SMS is being sent to, or mechanisms put in place to ensure the integrity of Protected Health Information (PHI), email/SMS can HIPAA compliant messaging in certain circumstances. The patient also can sign an opt-in agreement (where they accept the risks of PHI in messages) with a health organization and receive PHI via email/SMS. The opt-in agreement is a common practice among Bridge clients.

For more information, please see: The Facts about HIPAA and Email/SMS Communication with Patients

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Find additional frequently asked questions and answers by visiting our Frequently Asked Questions library
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