What to Look for in Appointment Reminder Software
Reminding patients about upcoming dental appointments reduces no-shows and increases practice revenue. Appointment reminder software automates the system to make it more efficient and effective.
An appointment reminder program integrated with your patient management system will also increase productivity by considerably easing the burden on your office staff. This can have a huge impact on the success of your business.
But which type of patient reminder software is best for your practice?
Research indicates that:
- Nearly 70 percent of healthcare providers text patients with appointment reminders.
- 70 percent of patients welcome text communications from their doctors’ offices, rather than phone calls.
So it makes sense to remind your patients about their next dental visit by texting them, and an automated system makes it easier and more cost effective.
Benefits of Automated Dental Appointment Reminder Texts
Consumers today look favorably on texts with important information from businesses they trust. And dental patients are no exception.
Automated text reminders about appointments eliminate the need for endless calls to patients, so your office team spends a lot less time on the phone and more time on face-to-face engagement with patients in the office.
Appointment reminder texting software also plays a major role in cutting the number of no-shows. Of all the challenges facing dental offices striving to meet their full potential, missed appointments are one of the easiest to fix with the right automated patient reminder text system.
Why Patients Miss Appointments
Dental appointment no-shows significantly disrupt workflow and reduce profitably – missed appointments cost the healthcare industry $150 billion a year.
But your patients aren’t missing appointments on purpose. They probably have busy schedules that make it easy to overlook dental visits.
A 2017 survey by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) found that more than 50 percent of patients who had missed an appointment simply forgot to attend or cancel. Over 28 percent said they wrote down the wrong date or time.
How Appointment Reminder Texts Reduce No-Shows
A timely text message appointment reminder helps patients to keep their commitment. Text reminders also allow your patients to actively respond – unlike missed calls or voicemails that go unheard. This makes it easy for them to confirm they’ll show up or to give you advance notice if they can’t make an appointment.
Ninety percent of text messages are read within three minutes of being received. This not only gives your office staff time to reschedule appointments but also allows the possibility of filling the newly vacant time slot.
Your front desk team will be able to stay more organized and quickly filter between confirmed and unconfirmed appointments. And if your text appointment reminder software syncs with your practice management system, each patient’s status can be seamlessly updated.
Why Text Your Patients?
Most cell phone owners in the U.S. use text messaging, and texting is the most popular function on mobile devices. So the likelihood of reaching your patients via text is high.
Texting appointment reminders overcomes the problems of other patient reminder methods:
- Phone calls can be intrusive and untimely. You can leave a message, but you don’t know if or when the patient will listen to it.
- Postcards are slow and often binned as junk mail.
- Emailed reminders may be filtered as spam.
In the MGMA survey, more than 38 percent of patients who failed to show for their appointments said a reminder via text message would have been beneficial.
Unlike phone calls, emails and postcards, texts are seldom ignored, and they work on every cell phone without the need to install a special app,
Strengthening Patient Loyalty
Sending text reminders for appointments improves the overall dental experience for patients, helping to generate loyalty that ensures they never feel the need to look elsewhere for dental services.
Consumers today expect service providers to make it easy to interact with them. Texting dental appointment reminders appeals to the wants and needs of your patients by giving them a convenient way to engage with your office, effortlessly and quickly.
Appointment reminder texts help to nurture patient relationships over the long term. Like you, many dentists do great clinical work, so you need to provide additional value to patients to stand out in a fiercely competitive market.
Automated text reminders don’t have to be impersonal. They can be configured to insert the patient’s first name to create a personal touch that strengthens the feeling that they’re part of your dental family.
In an effort to recoup lost revenue, some practices charge patients for missed appointments. Text reminder software allows you to take a more patient-friendly approach to address the problem of no-shows.
Boosting Office Morale
Appointment reminder text software benefits your office staff as well as your business and your patients.
It avoids the drudgery and monotony of chasing up patients by phone. This enhances employee satisfaction, which increases efficiency and productivity as staff become more motivated and engaged.
Your office team will be able to focus on more fulfilling tasks that directly benefit your practice, such as: • Ensuring new patient phone inquiries are handled correctly. • Making patients feel welcome when they enter your office.
Research has found that contented employees are 12 percent more efficient and provide better customer service. They also develop better analytical abilities, and stay with a business, which avoids costly turnover.
Appointment Reminder Software with Good ROI
Reminding patients of appointments increases revenue by keeping your chairs full and improving staff productivity. It also gives your patients a valuable service.
The automation and integration capabilities of dental appointment reminder programs streamline the scheduling process.
Dedicated dental appointment software that generates patient reminder texts and syncs with your patient management system will give you the most efficient, effective system and the best return on investment.
Contact DentalROI to find out more about appointment reminder software that increases the number of patients in the chair on appointment day.