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Increase Patient Recalls by Texting - Form Strong Patient Relationships

Learn about how using SMS can help increase patient recalls and build strong patient relationships

Increase Patient Recalls and Build Strong Patient Relationships by Texting

Strong patient relationships is a key way to increase patient recalls and form thriving dental practice. In fact, effective physician-patient communication has been shown to positively influence health outcomes by increasing patient satisfaction. This will ultimately lead to greater patient understanding, improved response rates, reduce no-shows, and of course increase patient recalls.
To build a strong patient relationship you need to incorporate texting in your strategy.
In the mid-2000s cell phone ownership was nearly universal.
Messaging is one of its most widely used features. Texting-based interventions can improve patient relationships.
Getting in touch with patients when they need to be recalled for follow-ups or test results is imperative. More often than not, it’s a mixture of phone tag, voicemails, and letters.
Sending text recalls puts your practice front-and-center just when your patient needs you to be. It makes your practice the easiest, most natural choice for your patients’ next appointment.
As the number of people using mobile devices continues to grow, communicating with patients via text messaging is becoming an increasingly powerful tool for practices.
Today, 65% of the world’s population sends and receives text messages, and 80% of the people residing in North America alone use text messages for communication purposes (slicktext).
These global statistics speak to the incredible role that texting can play in developing patient relationships with current patients while helping recruit new ones, too.
When implementing a process for texting to build strong patient relationships, make sure to keep these best practices in mind.

Over 75% Of Patients Prefer Text Messaging!

In fact, over 90% of millennials prefer text messaging to other channels of communication. So now is a great time to build strong patient relationships, meet your patient’s communication preference and improve your overall patient response times. Whats even more interesting, is that over 90% of texts are read in the first 90 seconds which drastically reduces voicemails and follow-up calls.

Getting Started

Before your practices adopt the use of texting, a strong plan needs to be developed. To accomplish this, it’s important to determine how your practice wants to leverage texting, which may include the following:

  • Scheduling and appointments
  • Support and customer service
  • Notifications and alerts
  • Collections and billing
  • Sales and inquiries
  • Promotions and marketing

Formalities in Texting are Essential

When it comes to digital communication like email, using abbreviations can be seen as acceptable. However, when it comes to texting to increase patient relationship or potential patients, formalities are necessary. This includes using full sentences as well as correct spelling and grammar.

Rather than just sending out postcards and crossing your fingers, invest in invest in various automated software to save valuable time. These softwares also offer text messages and other features that help you communicate with patients more effectively than postcards or phone calls.

Failing to do this can make your practice look unprofessional, which could lead to losing out on retaining patients or recruiting new ones.

Formalities in Texting are Essential

When it comes to digital communication like email, using abbreviations can be seen as acceptable. However, when it comes to texting to increase patient relationship or potential patients, formalities are necessary. This includes using full sentences as well as correct spelling and grammar.

Rather than just sending out postcards and crossing your fingers, invest in invest in various automated software to save valuable time. These softwares also offer text messages and other features that help you communicate with patients more effectively than postcards or phone calls.

Failing to do this can make your practice look unprofessional, which could lead to losing out on retaining patients or recruiting new ones.

Patients prefer texting for recalls

Patients increasingly expect and demand texting communication from all manner of services (be it hairdressers, food delivery, or other healthcare providers).
When compared to letters, texting has some clear advantages.
80% of Americans own a smartphone, and on average we use our phones 150 times per day (askwonder).
People typically always carry their phone when out & about, so you’re more likely to reach the patient.
Patients can respond instantly to texting, which improves their response rates to recalls.
Text messages do not require an internet connection, which allows patients to receive communication from the practice promptly, ultimately helping to build strong patient relationships.

Texting makes it easier for patients to rebook

It’s not always easy to inspire patient loyalty, but communicating with patients through the channels they prefer is a great place to start.

Patients who receive a text message for a recall are more likely to instantly schedule for follow-ups. People love real-time and instant feedback since the message is immediate it becomes a huge convenience and can make a decision in the moment. A digital strategy that makes use of your patients’ preffered communication channel is a sure way to increase patient recalls.

Text recalls save your practice time and money

The reality is that practices lose time and money on recalling patients when it should be the opposite. Recalls present an opportunity to fill your appointment books with loyal returning patients.

Instead of spending hours a week processing and mailing recall, your front desk staff could use that time to better engage with patients, whilst your practice nurse could be offering value-added services such as free blood pressure checks to those in the waiting room. By using automated text recalls, you also enhance the wider patient relationships experience at your whole practice.

Compliance and Security

Text recalls provides an accepted and transparent auditing trail for your practice, as you can use them to track your attempts to recall patients for clinical appointments. This is particularly valuable for accreditation.
The key benefits customers experience with Recalls:

Ability to send a message to a group of people at once
Quick response times
Improved response rates
Reduce no-shows
Be perceived as up-to-date
Save time (freeing up staff for more worthwhile/complex tasks)
Save money (costs on postage, printing, and stationery)
Improve patient response rates to recalls
Reducing the nurse / front desk staff workload
Deepening patient relationships so they keep coming back

Final Thought

Patient expectations are changing. In an increasingly competitive market, where patient loyalty is no longer guaranteed, texting communications with patients is now the route many practices are taking to deepen their patient relationships.

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