Patients Prefer e-Reminders

by Larry Emmott on July 1, 2013

in e-Services,Management

No-shows, a classic issue which has plagued dental practices since the time of good ol’ G.V. Black.

No-shows are frustrating and expensive. You can get militant and charge patients if they no-show. That’s a great way to create pleasant Kumbayah relationships.

You can be proactive and call everybody on the schedule a few days in advance. This is great because it keeps the staff busy – not productive – just busy. Many if not most patients never answer the phone and when they do it is a convenient chance for them to cancel.

Technology to the rescue:

Some interesting research from Sesame Communications:

  • The typical missed appointment rate is 18% to 22%.
  • Patients prefer email appointment reminders to telephone calls by a margin of 3 to 1.
  • 77% of practices report automated appointment reminders reduce no-shows.

How much is it worth to reduce or eliminate no-shows? According to Sesame:

  • A typical practice loses $138,000 to no-shows each year.

Not only are automated reminders more effective than phone calls they are much less costly to the practice. The reason is that e-mails can be automated using an e-service. That means everything is done online by machines for a low monthly fee. You are not paying expensive humans to dial the phone, wait on hold and leave a voice mail.

In addition to Sesame reminder services are offered by Smile Reminder, ActionRun and Dentrix.

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