Down with No-Shows

Text Reminders Boost Response Rates


For years Vanderbilt Medical Group has used robo-calls to remind patients about upcoming appointments. The reminders are triggered four days out, and VMG is able to refill approximately 60 percent of all cancellations that occur at this four-day mark.

Last September, VMG schedulers began asking patients whether they would instead like a text reminder, and flyers about this option were posted in clinics. The new text option is proving popular with patients. Currently, around 25 percent of reminders are going out by text message.

According to Paul Schmitz, MLAS’09, administrative director of VMG capacity management, approximately 50 percent of VMG text reminders get a response, compared to the roughly 30 percent response rate for VMG robo-calls. This higher response rate (and the associated backfilling of canceled visits) currently translates as approximately 50 fewer no-shows per day for VMG.

Explore Story Topics