It’s important to have an accurate patient database. You want your patients to trust you, and to do that you need to make sure you have correct information. Otherwise, you might make a mistake and hurt your reputation. This might cost you the trust of existing patients as well as prospective ones.
It’s not enough to collect good data. You want to make sure you keep good data, too. Although you may collect good data, that doesn’t mean that it stays that way. Keep reading to find out how to battle data decay.
What is Data Decay?
Data decay refers to data becoming outdated over time. Phone numbers can change, get disconnected, get ported, get reassigned. Email addresses can change, be abandoned, or become spam traps.
Customer data decays at a rate of about 30% a year. If you collect a lot of data and perform a lot of patient outreach, you might want to consider cleaning your patient database every 3-6 months. If you have less data and do not conduct much patient outreach, you can get by with cleaning your database once every year.
Cleaning your database means catching outdated information and correcting it. You can do this with a batch data append tool. You can upload an entire list of patient contact information and get rid of incorrect, outdated patient addresses, emails, and phone numbers. Then, you know not to try to reach those patients through those channels.
You can also use this tool to get the correct data. The data append tool will fix incorrect data as long as the information is available. This saves you and your patients time not having to correct errors or handle more forms.
Why a Patient Database is Important
If you are a doctor, provider, or management team, you know the importance of having accurate patient information on hand. You want to be able to access data quickly and accurately to help your patients stay healthy and even to save their lives.
Having an accurate patient database improves interactions between patients and providers. You want patient information to remain confidential, so it’s critical that you reach your patients at their correct addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses when you need to communicate sensitive health information.
When patients provide their “home” numbers, you don’t know whether they are landlines or cell numbers. This limits the number of appointment reminders you can send via SMS text message. You can reduce your number of no-shows by successfully sending SMS messages and calling only active numbers.
You also want patients to schedule and show up for regular checkups. This might depend on your email reminders making it to your patients’ inboxes. And, you can help avoid complications by retaining accurate emergency contact data.
When emergencies happen, you don’t want to waste any time. So make sure you have only active phone numbers, valid email addresses, and updated physical addresses on file for your patients. The following tools can help.
5 Tools to Improve Patient Database
1. Identify Phone Number Tool and API
A phone validator allows you to identify the line type of a phone number. So you can determine whether those “home” phone numbers are landlines or cells. This way, you don’t waste time and money sending messages to landlines, and you ensure that your patients receive your communications by reaching out via the most appropriate channel.
This tool also checks whether a phone number is active or disconnected. So you know before you call whether or not you will reach the patient, and you can make a note to collect an updated number during a subsequent visit.
You can also integrate this tool into your own website or application with an Identify Phone Number API. Verify numbers for sending SMS text messages, verify the accuracy of numbers provided by patients online or on forms, and ensure delivery of appointment reminders all without having to navigate to a third party website.
2. Reverse Phone Lookup
Your patients can’t get a hold of you if your phone line is tied up with spam calls, unknown callers, and telemarketers. A reverse phone lookup tool lets you know the name behind the number.
You can also use this tool for prospective patients or first time callers. Just enter the number and search to get the most recent name and address associated with the number.
3. SMS Text Messaging
SMS text messaging is a quick and easy way to communicate with your patients. You can send appointment reminders, updates, and important information regarding visits especially as health guidelines are constantly changing in light of Covid-19.
Just enter the full phone number you want to send the message to, type the message up to 138 characters, and send. Be sure to mention who the message is from. The message will be sent over email (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), and recipients will not be able to reply to the message.
4. People Search
If you want to verify the information provided on an intake form or if you need to complete a patient profile, you can conduct a people search to quickly and easily find information on someone with just a name. Results typically include full name, address, phone number, age or date of birth, marital status, relatives, and/or length of residence.
5. Email Verifier
Use an email verifier to make sure you’ve got the right email address for every patient. With immediate email address validation, you can find out if an email address is safe for mailing.
Addresses that are likely to flag your emails as spam aren’t safe to mail to. Not only are your patients not getting these messages, but these invalid addresses are also hurting your sending reputation by flagging you as spam. This minimizes your chances of successfully landing future emails into inboxes of valid addresses.
The email verifier tool allows you to verify one email address at a time. But you can use a bulk email verifier to check an entire list of email addresses at once, saving you time and money.
Get Patient Contact Information You Can Trust
Not only is it critically important that messages, reminders, and updates reach your patients, but it’s also extremely important that they don’t go to the wrong people. You want to keep your patients’ information confidential, so it’s necessary to keep accurate contact data in your patient database.
You also save yourself time and money by contacting your patients on the first try. There is nothing more frustrating than calling a disconnected number, emailing an invalid address, or having mail returned to you. Try out one or more of these tools today to get patient contact information you can trust.Try our Email Verifier tool!