Pine Belt Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center gained its start at Stone County Hospital in the city of Wiggins, MS, in September of 2014. The Petal location, which currently represents their primary office, opened in November of 2014. Petal continues to be the ideal location for the practice because Petal is a growing community, it provides Pine Belt Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center an opportunity to also grow and flourish. It wasn’t long before Pine Belt Dermatology grew beyond the boundaries of Forrest County. They started with one provider, Dr. David Roy, D.O., FAOCD, FASMS, FAAD and a humble five-member staff. Since then Pine Belt Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center has grown tremendously.
“Our partnership with Vital Interaction has transformed how we communicate with our patients. We’ve given time back to staff, increased our appointment volume, and improved the patient experience. We continue to see a large return on our investment with Vital Interaction and I’m excited to continue to work with them to make our communication processes even better.”
Joy Moore, Practice Administrator, Pine Belt Dermatology
Through regular meetings with their Vital Interaction account manager, Pine Belt Dermatology, led by Practice Administrator, Joy Moore, focused in on three key priorities for Vital Interaction to solve:
Giving time back to staff
Increasing patient volume.
In this case study we’ll explore how Pine Belt uses Vital Interaction to achieve their goals.
Giving time back to staff
By relying on phones as the only communication method with patients, staff members at Pine Belt were spending too much time playing phone tag, resulting in an inefficient communication process, and response times that were too long. By implementing patient chat (Vital Interactions’s HIPPA compliant two-way texting feature) Pine Belt has been able to streamline communication between staff and patients, reducing phone tag and improving response times. Patients appreciate the convenience of receiving test results through patient chat and the ability to ask follow-up questions in real-time which has led to increased patient satisfaction and an improved patient experience.
Many practices are concerned that by introducing alternative methods of communication (like two-way texting) they run the risk of increasing administrative burden by having another channel to monitor. Like Pine Belt Dermatology, Vital Interaction customers typically find the opposite to be true because chats are neatly organized in easy to follow channels where all key patient information is clearly accessible. The result? Efficient, real-time communication and a significant reduction in call volume.
In addition to patient chat, Pine Belt has reduced administrative burden by automating recalls, reactivations and appointment reminders. Read on to see how this automation has also helped them achieve their other objectives of increasing patient volume and decreasing their no-show rate.
Increasing patient volume
An automated recall and reactivation strategy is one of the most effective ways to increase appointment volume and to ensure that patients are getting the care they need. To start, Pine Belt launched two core campaigns:
Annual reactivation – A campaign that targets patients who haven’t had a visit in over a year and who don’t have a future appointment scheduled.
No show not rescheduled reactivation – A campaign that automatically reaches out to patients who are flagged as no shows and prompts them to schedule an appointment.
The launch of these two campaigns leveraging Vital Interaction’s Smart List Engine technology has produced great results for Pine Belt. To date, 23.2% of patients receiving a message have scheduled appointments resulting in more than 5000 new appointments. The best part? This entire process was automated and didn’t require any outbound calling efforts from the front desk staff.
No-shows are a lose-lose proposition for both providers and patients. Each year it’s estimated that no-shows account for $150 billion in lost revenue for providers, and worse yet, delayed care for millions of patients. A thorough appointment reminder process utilizing multiple channels of communication is a great tool to combat no-shows and ensure that patients are getting the care they need when they need it.
In order to minimize their no-shows Pine Belt has set up a 5 day cadence that includes:
5 day email
4 day text
3 day IVR
24 hour final reminder
All of the messages include the ability to easily confirm as well as Vital Interaction’s two step cancellation process which asks the patient to provide a cancellation reason prior to the cancellation. This extra step helps prevent accidental cancellations and helps the practice understand important details that may impact future communication, like whether the patient moved out of the area.
The result? Pine Belt is seeing a no-show rate just over 5% which is about half the industry average of 10% for dermatology.
After seeing success in all key areas, Pine Belt Dermatology will be exploring even more ways to leverage Vital Interaction to enhance their patient communication processes. The team will look to enhance their referral process by utilizing referral recalls as well as adding diagnosis based recalls to ensure that specific patients are getting melanoma checks every three months. They also see an opportunity to further enhance their pre-appointment messaging with educational content designed to prepare patients and alleviate concerns prior to appointments. The Vital Interaction team will be working alongside Pine Belt every step of the way as they continue to build on their success.
Interested in seeing what your Return on Investment (ROI) could be with Vital Interaction?
Vital Interaction is a healthcare technology that combines healthcare data, business intelligence and workflow automation to make practices more profitable, make doctors’ lives easier, and improve patient satisfaction.