For most people, a trip to the doctor, dentist, or optometrist will be straightforward. There will be an assessment, and no further action will be needed.
But now and again, a doctor or other clinician is faced with a situation that will require a follow-up assessment. In short, this means that a patient may need to take medication or try a treatment regimen and then come back to the surgery in a few days or months for a follow-up appointment, so you can assess how the situation is improving.
As you may have guessed, for a lot of patients who attend any medical appointment, once the pain is relieved, they are less than eager to come back, even if there is a chance that the condition will recur. So, here are some useful tips to follow to help you with follow-up appointments with patients.
Invest in Software
As a doctor or clinician, it can be tough to book all of the appointments that are needed with patients each day. It can take precious time away from your reception staff.
So, it is worth investing in software at the first point to help you and your team to book follow-ups. Just be sure that any software you invest in is right for booking medical appointments, such as Brevium medical patient follow-up software.
Assess Why Follow-up Is Needed
It is not always the case that a follow-up appointment is needed, so you will need to assess why you feel a follow-up appointment is required.
Perhaps you want to check that any newly prescribed medication is working. Or do you need to conduct a mental health assessment? Either way, always be clear as to why a follow-up is required and explain it to the patient. This way, they will be more inclined to attend the appointment.
Referrals or Not?
It can be tempting to want to keep patients who need a follow-up with your team, but in some cases, you may need to make a referral and then follow up via correspondence with the other service.
That way, you will not be wasting your or the patient’s time with needless appointments, and they can get better access to the help that they need to recover. Just always remember to follow up with any specialists to assess the next step in treatment.
Most patients will be less than happy to attend follow-up meetings, even if they are medically relevant.
So, along with the follow-up software that can automatically book appointments, it is also worth investing in a bit of SEO software that can send reminders to your patients via text message or email, reminding them of the appointment that is occurring the next day. This will help them to attend any appointments that they need to and will ensure that you can better oversee their care.
If you have referred a patient for a follow-up with a specialist, or a range of different teams, always be sure to keep track of them via their medical files. This can help you to identify if they are receiving the correct care or whether you feel that they need additional help in certain areas as their primary care doctor.