Quick Practice Checkup: Appointment Cards
If you're like most doctors, you've been so busy with patients that you haven't updated your marketing materials in years. Printed brochures, patient reminder cards, & appointment cards tend to be created in a hurry when you start your practice and then neglected. But just like neglecting that annual wellness visit, so too does neglecting your annual "business" checkup have tough consequences.
3,500+ Bad Impressions
Every year, you staff probably hands out between 3,500 and 9,640 appointment cards on your behalf. This equates to at least 3,500 opportunities a year to give happy patients a way to brag about you, share you with a friend, or simply get in contact with you. Are you taking advantage of the opportunity or are you giving 3,500+ bad impressions a year?
Give your practice a 60-second checkup today and check your appointment cards. You remember giving the team the go-ahead to place a reorder from Staples or FedEx Kinkos just a few months ago, so you assume the cards are in pretty good shape, right? Let’s find out.
Step 1: Information Check
Grab one of your appointment cards. Take a good look at it. Wait a minute, is the staff still using cards with your old website url? You spent a fortune on that new website last year! You’re wondering why in the world they wouldn’t have updated that when they ordered the new cards…
Why Your Front Desk Staff Won't Update Your Business Cards
- They assume you magically know the old information is still on the card
- They assume you will tell them when you want them to do something about it
- They want to save you money - so they will simply scratch out the old information
- By the time you finally approve a printing order they have run out of appointment cards and don't have time to try and get your approval on any changes
- Printers charge high graphic design fees for changes to your appointment cards so they don't tell you that the cards need an update because they think you'll be upset
- They feel bad because they don't have the ability to edit the business cards themselves and they know it will cost you money to have them edited
Step 2: Technical Check
Now go grab a pen. Flip the appointment card over to the back. Fill it out as if you were working at the front desk. Use your front desk coordinator's name as the patient name. Is there enough room to write their name, your name (as provider), and the date & time of the appointment or are you having to write really small to squish it on there? Now run your finger across the card where you wrote the appointment information. Go ahead. Pen ink smear everywhere? Now you also know why your front desk team always seems to have ink on their hands and face! This is basic stuff in healthcare, yet 90% of practices have some pretty serious technical issues with their appointment cards.
60-Second Appointment Card Checklist
- CARD STOCK: Is the card printed on no-smear paper?
- PHONE: Call the phone # listed on the card. Listen to the voicemail & call-routing to make sure your patients are hearing what you want them to hear.
- FAX: Does this fax # go straight into your EHR? It should! Why? Because when another provider needs to request medical records, they typically ask the patient for your fax #!
- WEBSITE: Is your website url on the card?
- PATIENT PORTAL: Is the Patient Portal url on the card?
- REFER: The average doctor hands out 3,500-9,640 appointment cards per year. Good marketing opportunity? You betcha! Your patients would love to know how to refer you!
- APPOINTMENT DETAILS: Is there plenty of room for staff to write out the required information? Are there designated spaces for "day of week", "date", and "time"?
- PROVIDER: If you have more than one provider at the practice, is each provider listed on the card with a "checkbox" that staff can easily check?
- LOCATION: If you have more than one location, is each location listed on the card with a "checkbox" that staff can easily check?
- LAB TESTING: If you regularly have patients come in for lab testing, is there a checkbox for that on the card with separate checkboxes for "fasting" & "non-fasting"?
- PARKING: If parking is hard to find or payment is confusing, is there helpful patient information on the card for patients?
At The Healthcare Paper Company, we make it easy for independent practices, health systems and other healthcare entities to create and manage their marketing collateral. Spend less time telling printers and graphic designers what you need and more time seeing patients.
Link: No-Smear Appointment Cards