There are many different types of technology out there that can help grow your dental practice. The difficulty that arises is that trying decide what makes the most sense for you and your team can be confusing.

This article is intended to help you navigate the waters of available dental software, in hopes that your choice becomes much easier. Dental appointment reminder software, relative to how easy it is to integrate into in your practice, can have a huge impact on your success. A popular feature of this software is text messages sent for appointment reminders. For instance, in a recent survey of 1,615 healthcare providers, 68% confirmed they use texting to help patients keep their appointments.

Here are three main reasons why dental appointment reminder software is so popular and how it can directly benefit your practice.

Table of Contents:

  • Reduce Your Risk of Missed Appointments
  • Make Your Front Desk More Efficient
  • Improve Your Patient Experience
  • Recommended Next Steps

1.Reduce Your Risk of Missed Appointments

Did you know missed appointments cost the healthcare industry about $150 billion a year? Dental is not immune. For example, one study estimated that a typical clinic lost 443 production hours from no-shows.

Think about your own practice. Is there anything more frustrating than having your workday derailed by missed appointments? Besides creating costly unused capacity and disruptions in your workflow, there’s extensive damage to your production and profitability.

Encouragingly, out of all the things that might be keeping your practice from reaching its full potential, no-shows are one of the easiest to fix.

Here are a few of the specific ways dental appointment reminder software can help keep your schedule running smooth.

Allows You to Take Control:

First, text reminders for dental appointments let you take control of this stressful situation proactively. The problem is not beyond your power to fix. Ultimately, dental appointment reminder software allows you to put efficient scheduling systems in place that give you more predictable results.

Engages Patients in the Process:

Patients aren’t trying to purposefully skip their appointment. Like most of us, they lead busy lives with a lot on their plates and they need help from you by sending text reminders for dental appointments.

Text reminders not only provide the patient with a visual of their commitment, but also allows patients to actively respond. Texts put the reminder right in front of them, unlike missed calls or unheard voicemails. According to Nielsen Mobile Insights, 79% of cell phone owners in the United States use text messaging. What’s more, texting is the most popular function to use on a mobile device. So the likelihood you’ll reach your patients via text is high. Text reminders implore patients to add appointments into their schedule and keep their commitment.

Greater Chance of Advanced Notice:

Text reminders for dental appointments also give your patients an easy opportunity to provide you with advanced notice if they can’t make it. For instance, if you send a text a week before the appointment, they are more likely to immediately respond to confirm or ask to reschedule. After all, on average, people respond to texts within 90 seconds. This exchange would allow your front desk to reschedule patients while still having enough lead time to possibly fill the newly vacant time slot.

Smoother New Patient Intakes:

Even though no-shows are a total efficiency and production killer, delayed appointments don’t help matters either. For example, some types of dental appointment reminder software allow you to craft and send messages just to new patients. That way you can give them a heads up to arrive early to complete forms without their treatment time being pushed back and disrupting your workflow.

2. Make Your Front Desk More Efficient

Like any small business owner, sometimes you may feel there are more tasks than people available to handle them. It’s likely your team feels the same way. So any time you can automate processes for your office, it goes a long way to helping staff do their jobs better and as a result, your dental practice runs more efficiently.

This is especially true for your front desk team. For instance, dental appointment reminder software can automatically send out pre-scheduled texts or email messages. This also allows your front desk team to stay more organized with the ability to quickly view and filter between confirmed and unconfirmed patients. Plus, since it typically syncs up to your practice management software, the patient’s status is seamlessly updated when they confirm.

Overall, the automation capabilities of dental appointment reminder software streamlines the scheduling process for your front desk. This saves the time and hassle of trying to reach patients over the phone or track down unconfirmed. Remember that automating doesn’t mean it becomes impersonal communication. Text reminders for dental appointments can be preset to automatically drop in the patient’s first name as well as craft personalized, welcoming messages.

There’s an added bonus. With the time saving that the dental appointment reminder software provides your front desk, they won’t get overwhelmed with scheduling responsibilities. Your staff will be able to focus on other tasks that have a direct impact on the success of your practice. For instance, making sure new patient inquiries over the phone are handled correctly, or focusing on making patients feel as welcomed as possible when they enter your office.

3.Improve Your Patient Experience

Using text reminders for dental appointments can also help improve your overall patient experience.

First, by giving them the ability to quickly and effortlessly communicate with your office, you’re delivering upon what all consumers expect today – service providers that are easy to do business with. We know that texting is the preferred method of communication, even in healthcare. In fact, a survey showed that 70% of respondents liked text communications from their doctors’ offices. Dental appointment reminder software appeals to the wants and needs of your patients by providing them an easy method of communicating with your practice.

Second, dental appointment reminder software makes it easy to nurture patient relationships over the long term. It’s no secret dentists are facing competition of all sizes in today’s industry. A lot of practitioners out there, like you, do great clinical work, so it’s important to offer additional value to the patient to help differentiate yourself.

Text reminders, notifications, and messages with personal touches can go a long way in establishing patient loyalty and making sure they never feel the need to look elsewhere for dental care. Additionally, appointment reminder software even makes it easy to reach out with non-business messages, like birthday wishes. You’d be surprised how even small gestures like these can establish a long term connection with patients.

You may have heard that some dental offices try to solve their missed or late appointment problems by charging the patient. On the surface, it makes sense because they can recoup lost revenue and deter patients from pulling no-shows. However, is this reactive, punitive approach really the best way? Especially considering how providing a top-notch patient experience and building relationships has never been more important?

As an alternative, dental text reminder software lets you use a more proactive, “helping hand” method. In this evolving dental industry with competition of all shapes and sizes, it’s the seemingly small and simple actions that help your practice stand out and grow.

Recommended Next Steps

Dental appointment reminder software can help keep your chairs full, front desk efficient, and patient experience first class. If you’d like to find out more about using text messaging for patient communications in your office, request a demo below.