One very simple way we can use the Internet to communicate with our patients is transforming our current paper re-call system to an electronic e-call system. Instead of sending a paper re-call card we can send an e-call notice via e-mail. In fact any piece of paper you are now sending to patients, third parties, colleagues, suppliers or anyone else can be transformed to an electronic message.
An e-call system will be much faster, easier to administer and more comprehensive than any paper system and it will save you lots of money. If you consider the cost of the card, postage, addressing and administrative time to create and mail the cards the annual savings to a typical office could be well over $6,000. In other words the savings from this one system alone could pay for your investment in dental software.
How would an e-call system ideally work? You would tell the computer one time what you wanted. That would be who gets a reminder and when, then you just forget it. After that the system would search the electronic appointment book for scheduled appointments, create a reminder message and send it via e-mail automatically. The system would then search for patients without an appointment who are due and send them a different e-mail message. And it would do it every day for whatever future time frame you choose. Furthermore the system does not have to be limited to prophy re-calls but could track any treatment that needed follow up such as a one year post op endo check