Writing Effective Appointment Reminders

Posted by Positive Impressions on May 9th 2019

With pets coming into your clinic once or twice per year, it’s easy for owners to forget about scheduled appointments. These tips will help you deliver the info your clients need, whether you’re using business card-sized reminders or postcards. 

What Type of Reminder?

We offer both standard postcards with blank backs and pre-printed appointment reminder sheets. “3 up” reminder cards have three reminder cards and three appointment cards per sheet. This makes it easy to send patients off with a reminder card and file away the postcard for mailing when it’s closer to their appointment time. “4 up” reminder cards have four reminder cards per sheet. These are great for pairing with our business card-sized sticker appointment cards . These cards can include all your clinic’s contact info alongside the appointment information.

Along with general pet-themed reminder cards, we also have holiday themed cards, new patient cards, and cards designed for adding text to the front.

No matter what you choose, we can custom print the back with your clinic information. This saves your staff time by covering common instructions, so all they need to do is write in some information about the visit.

Who is the Appointment For?

Always include the pet’s name so that owners of multiple pets will know who to bring.

When is the Appointment?

Unless the pet is having chronic medical problems, it will probably be months before the client comes back to the clinic again. Including the day of the week alongside the date and the time of the appointment makes it easier for clients to plan their visit.

What if They Can’t Make It?

Have instructions for contacting your office, as well as how long before they need to call to cancel or reschedule. If you have a separate number or extension specifically for scheduling, include it on the card, even if you have your general number already printed with the clinic address.

What Information Can Be Included?

Pet medical confidentiality is complicated. HIPPA doesn't apply to pets, but state laws normally apply some HIPPA requirements to animals or apply privacy requirements modeled after HIPPA to animal records. For example, here in Wisconsin, records can only be released to the owner or by a third party with written consent of the owner.

What does this have to do with reminder cards? Since anyone handling the card can read it, the reason for the visit cannot be disclosed. Any instructions for the visit, such as fasting before a surgical procedure, cannot be included on the card. However, instructions can be included with a reminder card you give directly to the patient in your office, or they can be mailed in a sealed envelope.

General medical advice is not restricted. For example, we offer card sets that remind owners about heartworm treatment and dental work. Since they don’t specify that the client’s pet has these issues, it’s OK to mail them out.

When Should Reminder Cards Be Mailed?

The United States postal service does not guarantee delivery within a certain time frame. An in-town delivery may go from your office to a post office and your client’s address in just a day. If the client is in a neighboring town, the card may pass through a sorting center first, adding another day or two to shipping. You should plan on delivery taking up to 5 days, plus another week to let the client plan for the visit. Sending cards earlier may cause enough time to pass that the client will forget about the appointment.

Our three up reminder cards are printed with a business card-sized reminder that can be given to clients when they’re scheduling their next appointment. The included post card can then be filled out and filed for later mailing.

We Can Help You Keep in Contact with Clients

Positive Impressions, LLC offers postcards, appointment cards and business cards to help you remind clients to bring in their pets for appointments. Want to make it easier to send out reminders? We can custom print your order, so you can pick a design for the card's front and add text to the back with clinic and appointment information. Not sure where to start? Check out this month’s specials and popular products on our website.

Need Prescription Labels?
Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.